James Brian Thomas’s Answers

James Brian Thomas

Dallas Probate Attorney.

Contributor Level 14
  1. How do I view a listed inventory in a probate case? I'm from texas.

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Rudolph Michael Culp
    3. Timothy Edward Kalamaros
    4. Donald Joseph Quinn II
    4 lawyer answers

    Contact the county clerk and ask if it can ordered over the phone, but be prepared for a no. Most likely, you can send in a written request with the appropriate fee (usually $1 per page), or you can walk on up to the clerk's desk and order a copy in person. The Court does not work for you, and you should not expect the Court to take any steps to make sure that you are aware of documents that have been filed. In fact, because the documents are public, the Court presumes that you have had an...

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

  2. How to get guardianship?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Stett Matthew Jacoby
    2 lawyer answers

    Guardianships can certainly be complex, but they are inevitable in so many cases. To answer your question, the process begins with retaining a guardianship lawyer near you. An application would need to be filed for each of your nieces, requesting that you become the guardian of their person and/or estate. As it is unlikely that the children have any property of their own, you might be able to avoid guardianship of the estate. Notice of the proceedings would absolutely need to be given...

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  3. Who would life insurance benefits go to if the beneficiary died after the insured but before filing the claim?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Heather Danielle Lee
    3. John K Lassen
    4. Mark Christopher Wolfe
    4 lawyer answers

    I'm so very sorry for your loss. The answer to your question likely lies within the insurance policy itself. As a default, each state has a period of survival, and they vary quite a bit. Texas, for example, imposes a survivorship requirement of 120 hours, or five days. If a beneficiary dies within that time, they are deemed to have predeceased the original decedent. This default requirement can be overwritten, however, and it often is. Most Wills, for example, include a survivorship...

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  4. Can i petition for administration of my father's estate?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Michael S. Haber
    2. Rudolf J. Karvay
    3. James Brian Thomas
    3 lawyer answers

    You will want to stick around for some quick guidance by one of my New York colleagues, and there are many experienced ones that routinely respond to inquiries on this forum. That said, as an heir of your father, it would certainly stand to reason that you hold a sufficient enough interest in your father's estate to petition for the appointment of an administrator of his intestate estate. Your facts, however, suggest that you should spend some time consulting with a probate attorney near...

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  5. My grandfather passed away on October 3, 2011. He left a Will to be divided between the 14 of us.

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Paula Brown Sinclair
    2 lawyer answers

    Ms. Sinclair makes an excellent point. Being nominated to serve as the Executrix is not the same as being appointed to serve as the Executrix. Knowing the status of the proceedings will go far to determine what your rights to information look like at this point. The Clerk of the probate court in the county of your grandfather's residence can at least give you some idea of where the proceedings are, if they've even been initiated. If your sister-in-law hired her attorney and filed the...

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  6. Probate

    Answered over 3 years ago.

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

    Ernie: You're doing yourself and your family a great service to give these issues some consideration before they become realities. Thankfully, the probate process in Texas is not typically difficult for surviving spouses when even a modest degree of planning is put in place. A well-drafted Last Will and Testament, paired with Powers of Attorney to address any period of incapacity would serve you very well. Giving assets away during your lifetime is certainly a tried-and-true method of...

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  7. My spouse closed our joint account three years ago, keeps "his" money to himself. Is that legal?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    1 lawyer answer

    Whether your spouse's actions are illegal or just ill-informed really isn't the issue. Calling it a name doesn't get you your money. And a chunk of whatever is in that account is very likely your money. Texas is a community property state, and I'll assume that you and your husband do not have any sort of prenup or marital agreement. One of the many rules of community property that may apply to your situation is what is usually called the "income rule." Generally, income earned during a...

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  8. Charges for legal professional services to arrange burial and attend funeral / wake?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Joe Newman Perdue
    2 lawyer answers

    It isn't particularly clear from your question who exactly the attorney has charged. If the death was recent, you might not yet have an executor or administrator appointed by the Court. Does the attorney represent this person? Or, is the attorney himself nominated under the Will to serve in this capacity? I would think that it's of primary importance to know who the attorney is trying to saddle with the bill, as there may be some legitimate work done here, but likely a few things that are...

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  9. Probate Distribution Nerves....

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Steven J. Fromm
    2. James Brian Thomas
    3. Rosemary Jane Meagher-Leonard
    4. L Christopher Arvin
    5. Thomas William Dominick
    5 lawyer answers

    Sometimes the best advice is to go get good advice. Like Mr. Fromm, I would encourage you to at least consult with a probate attorney near you. From the sound of things, you've done virtually all of the work, and odds are decent that you've navigated through the process correctly. It also sounds like you're starting to second-guess yourself, and what you really want is some security that "finished" actually means "finished." Probate orders, like any other legal judgment, initiate clocks...

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  10. Misplaced power of att. papers ,can I go back to att. and get a copy?

    Answered 29 days ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Marion Leigh Vance Banaszak
    3. Stuart A. Lautin
    4. Thomas John Baker
    4 lawyer answers

    Your attorney that prepared the document should have a copy in his or her file. Most third parties will accept a photocopy. Power of Attorney are not always recorded, unless they are going to be used for a real estate transaction. But, if you strike out at your attorney's office, you could search the real property records of the county where you own land.

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer