James Brian Thomas’s Answers

James Brian Thomas

Dallas Probate Attorney.

Contributor Level 14
  1. Is it a conflict of interest for my sister, co-executor of my father's estate, to have the same attorney that my father had?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Lawrence Frederick Dietlein Jr.
    2. James Brian Thomas
    3. L Christopher Arvin
    4. Peter Russell Van Leunen
    5. Richard Norwood Evans II
    5 lawyer answers

    Your title and your question don't exactly match up. Is it a conflict for your sister to use the same attorney as your father did when he was alive? Not by itself, no. But whether or not the attorney has some conflict hardly addresses your actual concerns. "Conflict of interest" are not magic words that make your sister live up to her legal obligations. You've asked another party's attorney for something and he has refused. What exactly did you expect? He works for your sister. Not...

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

  2. Can common law husband have a legal will changed if she can't remember that her house is HER HOUSE?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Claire Ellen Lindsay
    3. Steven J. Fromm
    3 lawyer answers

    You need to separate your concerns here. Wills are of no effect until they are offered for and admitted to probate. If, after the wife's death, a Will is offered for probate, and there are issues regarding the wife's TESTAMENTARY capacity at the time of their execution, that's an issue to be decided then. If you have standing to contest a Will at that point, that's when you'd bring up the issue regarding disposition under the Wills. The more pressing issue is the current care of the wife -...

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  3. What are the responsibilities of an Executor of a Will/Estate in Texas?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Lawrence Frederick Dietlein Jr.
    3. Patricia B. Cole
    3 lawyer answers

    Having an attorney is never a bad idea, and you should certainly consult with one at a minimum. Executors in Texas have 3 basic jobs. Collect assets belonging to the Estate, pay and resolve proper debts against the Estate and distribute the remaining property in accordance with the Decedent's Will. Wrapped up in those 3 jobs could be a little or a lot of management, depending on a number of facts. If your mother co-owned a home with another person, and if you received your mother's...

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

  4. Power of Attorney

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Steven J. Fromm
    3. Stett Matthew Jacoby
    4. Randall S Perrier
    4 lawyer answers

    I agree with all of the previous responses. Some of your terminology suggests both an open probate administration, perhaps a Will, and maybe even a Trust. In any event, they all fall under the same radar of the probate courts. The actions of a personal representative, executor, administrator, trustee, etc. are all reviewable by the Court, and the options for relief are several. Unfortunately, your concerns are going to continue to fall on deaf ears to third-parties and especially to the...

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

  5. My father's will states that my brother and I split everything 50/50 including the house. So...

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Kevin P. Shay
    2. James Brian Thomas
    3. Steven J. Fromm
    3 lawyer answers

    Mr. Shay is absolutely correct that the tax appraisal value or the opinion of one (or several) realtors is an excellent starting point. Of course, agreeing to a value is really only a part of the process that you're facing. You do not mention whether or not your father's Will has been admitted to probate. In many cases, there is a necessity for administration of the estate. There may be additional assets to collect or debts to resolve. In administrations such as this, an executor is...

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. What do I need to do to get rid of an attorney who is doing nothing for my case?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Clifford Michael Farrell
    2 lawyer answers

    Continue calling or texting if you like, but you should begin addressing the issue in writing. Regular mail is more likely to gain a response than e-mail, and certified mail is your best method of proving (if you need to) that your attorney received the correspondence. Calmly and succinctly outline your understanding of where things stand, your questions about moving forward, your expectations of your attorney and the steps that you believe need to be taken to regain your confidence....

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

  7. Can my mom's husband give away his stocks?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Nicholas Abaza
    3. Israel Sands
    3 lawyer answers

    Texas is, in fact, a community property state. You're absolutely right that a married person can give their 1/2 of a community property asset to another person. They could even do so under the terms of a Will, which you don't mention whether or not one is present here. You're also correct that the remaining 1/2 of the community property asset belongs to your mother. If she did not agree to the gift of her property, she may very well have a claim for fraud on the community against the...

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  8. Probate closed for 8 yrs, how do I get my father's spouse to pay property taxes, she waived homestead rights & lives in the home

    Answered 5 months ago.

    1. David M. Pyke
    2. James Brian Thomas
    3. Kendall Shane Cockrell
    3 lawyer answers

    Mr. Pyke is correct. Your money would be better spent on retaining a good lawyer than paying the tax. What you want to accomplish here is not in the "self-help" category. Start making a few calls and relate your facts to an attorney. You're bound to find one that is willing to help you and be sensitive to your finances.

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

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  9. Do I have rights as decedents only child seperate from probate?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. James P. Frederick
    3. Adam S. Bernick
    3 lawyer answers

    Mr. Frederick is correct. There are a number of additional facts that any probate attorney would need to learn to answer your questions fully. And I wouldn't worry about your ignorance. Most individuals experience probate law only once or twice during their entire lifetimes. The professionals that deal with these issues every day hardly expect their clients to be experts. Whether or not a Will exists is the big question. Next, as my colleague points out, a person can have a substantial...

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  10. What to do if the executor of my mothers will is not truthful?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Robert Constantine Fafatas
    2. James Brian Thomas
    3. Brian W. Erikson
    3 lawyer answers

    As my colleague points out, Executors in Texas are required to prepare an Inventory of the Estate. Under some new legislation, and depending on the language of the Will, this Inventory might or might not become a public record. But, as a beneficiary, you are entitled to know (1) what the Executor collected as assets of the estate, (2) what debts and expenses were paid with the estate property, and (3) what's left. Depending on the time that passes during the administration, you might even be...

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