James Brian Thomas’s Answers

James Brian Thomas

Dallas Probate Attorney.

Contributor Level 14
  1. About a will

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Frank A Selden
    2 lawyer answers

    It's a little tough to track your facts, but the home that you live in sounds like your separate property. When your husband dies, his estate will consist of all of his separate property and his 1/2 of the community property. This is the estate that he can pass to any individual(s) in his Will. In the absence of a Will, his estate will pass in accordance with the default rules of descent and distribution. In that case, his children would be entitled to a significant share of his estate....

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

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  2. What legal form is used to request the appointment of a third party administrator in probate court?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    1 lawyer answer

    To answer your question, what you're asking about is simply an Application to Appoint Administrator, though different lawyers will sometimes use different titles. The point is, it isn't as much a form as it is a request. That written request must include some very specific facts regarding the decedent and his or her heirs. In order to be entitled to make the request, you must have some interest in the decedent's estate. In order for the court to grant the request, you'll need to prove (...

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  3. If your brother is executor of your parents will and the will states that everything is to be divided equally amonst 2 children

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Frank A Selden
    2 lawyer answers

    Much of your answer lies within the Will itself and the language used by the decedent. It isn't uncommon at all for a Will to leave "my estate in equal shares to my two children." Take every probate asset owned by the decedent and draw a line down the middle of it. That's what you would be entitled to under the Will. Dad had a car? You get half a car. He left a house? You get half the house. Obviously, while cash can easily be divided, many assets are not so easy to carve up. The...

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  4. MY AUNT DIED NO HUSBAND, CHILDREN OR WILL TO BE FOUND. MY COUSINS SAY HER ESTATE IS THEIRS AFTER SIX MONTHS. IS THIS TRUE?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

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

    When a person dies without leaving a valid Will, their estate passes under the intestacy statutes for the particular state that they resided in. It isn't clear whether you live in Missouri, or whether your aunt resided in Missouri. Maybe both. I've provided you with a link to Missouri's statute on descent and distribution, which spells out who is entitled to receive what share of your aunt's property based upon several family facts that you don't really get into. If you're concerned about...

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  5. WHAT IF YOU BROKE INTO YOUR FATHERS HOUSE AND TOOK $10,000 DOLLARS WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE OUTCOME?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Steven Zalewski
    2. James Brian Thomas
    3. Angela Mary Kinley
    3 lawyer answers

    Not sure why this is posted under the Wills subject area, but perhaps the father in this scenario is deceased. If you broke into anyone's home, whether that person is living or dead, and took these items, you've committed theft and likely a string of other offenses, both criminal and civil. It's illegal everywhere, and none of the outcomes are good. I'm also not sure if you're posting as a concerned bystander, an interested party or if you are actually the person that engaged in these acts....

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. Brother threatening to sue for custody of mother's dog due to will discrepancy

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Laura Mcfarland-Taylor
    2. Ryan F. Fetters
    3. James Brian Thomas
    3 lawyer answers

    Stories like this never cease to amaze me, and I'd feel bad for chuckling a bit at the idea of a lawsuit over a dog if I didn't think you'd laughed at how ridiculous that proposition sounds as well. Put yourself in the shoes of the judge that this end up in front of, and ask yourself how quickly you'd bury your face in your hands. My colleagues have hit the nail on the head by directing you to the terms of the Will. Based on the little information that you've provided, it sounds fairly...

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  7. Is it possible to have a will that would penalize those that unsuccessfully contest your will even if they aren't listed?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Jeffrey Bruce Gold
    2. Michael S. Haber
    3. James Brian Thomas
    4. Steven J. Fromm
    5. Frank Louis Buquicchio
    5 lawyer answers

    Clauses that heavily persuade a beneficiary or other interested person from contesting a Will are fairly common throughout our various states. Different states approach them in different ways -- some being very strict while others interpret them much more liberally. What you've asked about, however, is a bit different than the usual "challenge and you lose everything" clause. You're talking about a punitive measure, a debt that is created by the enforcement of what may very well be a valid...

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  8. Can I draft and assemble my own estate plan?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Dana Lynn Luetzelschwab
    3. Michael Robert Weinstein
    4. Eliz C A Johnson
    4 lawyer answers

    It's easy to assume that any lawyer that tells you that you need a lawyer is simply trying to keep his industry productive. Knowing that you'll take my thoughts with that grain of salt, doing it yourself is never a good idea. If you hear different advice, don't be so ready to assume that it's conflicting. Competent estate planning is a bit more involved than asking what you want and pulling the forms off of the shelf. Hearing different advice tells me that either you aren't repeating the...

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  9. Should I hire a probate attorney immediately concerning my grandfather's estate?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Nicholas Abaza
    3. Michael S. Haber
    4. Steven M Zelinger
    4 lawyer answers

    I have to agree with the previous responses that you're making an awful lot of assumptions and guesses that may not ring true. This may be due in large part to you not having much information for yourself, which is perfectly understandable. Probably the best answer to your ultimate question is to suggest that you wait until your grandmother passes. I'm assuming that you've already been to the County Clerk and read your grandfather's Will that was admitted to probate. If you haven't done...

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  10. Where do you report exploitation and embezzlement of the elderly besides the Adult Protective Services?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Steven J. Fromm
    2 lawyer answers

    Adult Protective Services is who you report it to. In some of our larger counties, specific attorneys in the district attorney's office are assigned to crimes against the elderly, but even they work very closely with APS and get the agency involved as soon as is practical. But I have to agree with Mr. Fromm. Why be content to sit back and blow the whistle? If you make a report, APS will investigate it, but you may not be happy with the conclusion. If you report the incidents to law...

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