James Brian Thomas’s Answers

James Brian Thomas

Dallas Probate Attorney.

Contributor Level 15
  1. What do I need to do to get rid of an attorney who is doing nothing for my case?

    Answered over 3 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....

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

    Answered over 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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  3. 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 about 1 year 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.

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

    Answered about 2 years 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...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

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

    Answered about 3 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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  6. My brother was removed as dependant administrator. Can I, as an heir be appointed independant administrator?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Nicholas Abaza
    2 lawyer answers

    From your facts, unfortunately, it is unlikely you'll find a short or easy solution. Independent administration of an intestate estate in Texas can only be achieved when each of the heirs consents and agrees. This assumes that an heirship determination (the actual judicial proceeding) has taken place, which you don't indicate in your inquiry. Based upon the history of the estate involving your brother, you've probably got a pretty good feeling that he (or perhaps others) will not go along...

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  7. Who should pay the maintenance fee for a co-op apartment during the probate process?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Michael Andrew Markowitz
    2. James Brian Thomas
    3. Jeffrey Bruce Gold
    4. Sharon Melissa Siegel
    4 lawyer answers

    Stick around for a response from any of the several experienced New York probate attorneys, but I believe that you're going to find that the answer is largely universal regardless of the jurisdiction. Until such time as the Estate no longer owns the property, the Estate is liable for the expenses of administration, including the upkeep and preservation of Estate assets. When the property is actually transferred to a beneficiary, the beneficiary accepts that property subject to indebtedness...

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  8. Why in the state of Il. when 2 people own a home equally left to them by their parents ,as stated in the trust,one can live

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Bruce E. Burdick
    3. Paul A. Smolinski
    3 lawyer answers

    Your answer lies within the terms of the Trust itself, and you should seriously consider taking the Trust document and your concerns to an attorney. The Trust's terms might be written in any of a variety of ways, and the terms should evidence the intent of the person(s) that made the Trust to begin with. Does the Trust document include any provision about occupancy? Is this live-in arrangement the product of the Trust's terms or simply a product of one beneficiary taking advantage of...

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  9. Can my father's estate be probated as intestate if my stepmother will not probate his will?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Ellen Daniel Williamson
    2. James Brian Thomas
    3. Michael S. Haber
    3 lawyer answers

    You could allege that your father died intestate, but the result may not be the same as what you believe your father left you under his Will. A demand for the production of the Will might get the ball rolling, and can even be enforced by the Court if needed. Even a copy of the Will, which I presume this attorney that you know probably has, could be produced to get things moving at this point. One thing that I would keep in mind is the fact that not all property passes under a person's Will....

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  10. Have valid copy of Mom's will but can't find her Indiana lawyer that holds the signed original will.

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Michael S. Haber
    2 lawyer answers

    You've got the makings of a Will Contest, if your mother's other children have anything to say about it and the desire to engage in probate litigation. There's nothing that prevents you from offering what you believe to be the actual Last Will and Testament of your mother. That said, erring on the side of caution in your case might include depositing (but not filing for admission to probate) the later-dated document. In any event, if you're going to hide something, (and I wouldn't...

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