James Brian Thomas’s Answers

James Brian Thomas

Dallas Probate Attorney.

Contributor Level 14
  1. I inherited my father's interest in his home with my stepmother retaining the other half and keeping it as her homestead.

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Charles J. Smaistrla
    2. James Brian Thomas
    3. Steven J. Fromm
    3 lawyer answers

    In all practical senses, these items should probably be divided in half, and you'd do well to gain some kind of agreement from your stepmother. The expenses are not yours to bear alone. The reality is that agreement and consensus is rare in these cases, and you may simply need to stand by and be ready to pick up the pieces when the taxes aren't paid or the house falls into disrepair. Your stepmother is a life tenant, which is what grants her the right to occupy the home. That position...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  2. How do I establish guardianship for my own child in the state of Texas?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. William R. Hayes
    2 lawyer answers

    Depending on what you previously secured in Michigan and the type of benefit that your child was awarded, you may be able to transfer your guardianship status to Texas through the same courts that initiate guardianships originally. Or, you may be looking at starting from scratch in Texas. Parents in Texas are considered the natural guardians of the "person" of their children, but are not naturally deemed the guardians of the child's "estate." In Texas, there are dozens of alternatives to...

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  3. I did some accoumting work for a client who passed away about 4 months ago. He owed me approx. $8,000.

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Nicholas Abaza
    2. James Brian Thomas
    3. Sara K Yen
    4. Richard Norwood Evans II
    5. Arthur Harold Geffen
    5 lawyer answers

    As suggested, you might consider retaining counsel to seek an administration that you initiate as a creditor. It certainly forces the issue and compels the family and/or heirs to move forward in order to protect their own interests. Probate law for creditors in Texas is filled with some very unforgiving timelines and form requirements. Many estates are handled without these formalities, but a significant number of them are. Call me cynical, but you might be surprised at the number of...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  4. How can i obtain a letter of testimony?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Lawrence Frederick Dietlein Jr.
    3. Arthur Harold Geffen
    4. John F. Younger Jr.
    5. Sonya F. Mittelman
    5 lawyer answers

    I'm very sorry for your loss. Letters Testamentary is what the bank has asked for. They are not obtained online. These Letters are issued by the County Clerk when the probate court appoints an individual to act as the executor or administrator of the estate. While it is far easier to obtain them when there is a Last Will and Testament, Letters of Administration are the equivalent that you could seek in the absence of a Will. Either route requires the help of an attorney, and even with a...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  5. I have Power of Attorney for my dad. If he is deemed incompetent by a physician, is there any additional steps I need to take?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. David L. Carrier
    3. Joseph M. Masiuk
    3 lawyer answers

    Sadly, there are a lot of power of attorney forms that float around. Whether or not the one your father signed accomplishes everything that he (and you) want depends almost entirely upon the document itself. Outside of some of the great general comments you've received here so far, an attorney would need to review what you have in order to give you any real degree of certainty. Bear in mind that getting the Court involved is usually a last resort. Even the Court will tell you as much....

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. My Granddaughter recently lost her mom. She is 5. Parents going thru divorce. Divorce wasn't final. House was to be sold. No wil

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Eliz C A Johnson
    2 lawyer answers

    This is a difficult situation, no matter which you look at it, and a lot of facts needed for a good analysis and answer simply aren't here. Assuming that your granddaughter's parents owned the home as community property (which is likely,) your granddaughter's mother's interest passes to her heirs, since there was no Will. Identifying the heirs requires knowing about any other children of your granddaughter's mother, and whether or not those children were from the marriage that was in the...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  7. A sibling who accused me of attempted matricide is now the exectrix of our mother's will-can she be removed for that reason

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Donald Joseph Quinn II
    2 lawyer answers

    If you're asking whether or not your sister's accusal of you is grounds for her removal as executrix, I'm doubtful you'll find a jurisdiction where the answer is yes. Suspecting someone of an attempted crime doesn't usually fit into the disqualification statutes that I'm familiar with. However, many states would disqualify (or remove) as executrix an individual that the Court finds unsuitable. Your concerns might gain some traction here if you retain an attorney to better develop your...

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  8. Does a person who inherite a home have to prove they can afford the payments

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Janet Lee Brewer
    3. Henry Daniel Lively
    3 lawyer answers

    Contact a probate attorney near you, or stay tuned for a response from one of several very experienced California probate attorneys that frequent this website. Probate is precisely designed to resolve your issues, as it is the area of law that governs the admission of Wills, transfer of property on death and resolution of ownership issues following death. Each of your parent's Wills likely need to be admitted to probate, in order to give them legal effect. In most cases, a personal...

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  9. What constitutes a breach of fiduciary duty? Would this be enough to remove a Trustee under § 113.082. tex prop?

    Answered 5 months ago.

    1. Marcos P Martinez
    2. Daniel Lee O'Neil
    3. James Brian Thomas
    4. Michael Leo Potter
    4 lawyer answers

    You need to seek the assistance of an attorney if you're serious about the matter. No competent counsel could take your paragraph and provide you with specific instructions about where to file, what to file, what to seek or how to get it. Sadly, trustees breach fiduciary obligations all the time. And, yes, sometimes they get away with it. If they've done something wrong (and they may not have), your trustees will get away with it as well unless you have a real conversation with an attorney.

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  10. How do I submit DNA paperwork to prove that legally I am heir of decedent?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Martin Ben Zimmerman
    3. Michael R Crosner
    3 lawyer answers

    As with virtually all requests from our courts, there is always a time frame. The sooner that you retain an attorney to help you with this, the better off you'll be. Bear in mind that establishing that you are your father's child may or may not be of significant consequence. If your father left a Will, for example, leaving his estate to his church, a friend, your mother, etc., your status as an heir may not make you entitled to anything. Visit with an attorney as soon as you can to get a...

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