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James Brian Thomas

James Thomas’s Answers

591 total


  • What is an affidavit of heirship and an affidavit of death

    Do I need to remove the names of my 2 brothers off of the deed if they are no longer living

    James’s Answer

    An affidavit of heirship is a document, signed and sworn to by witnesses, that can often be used as evidence of a person's legal heirs. When completed, the affidavit is recorded in the deed records of the county where the Decedent owned real property. In many cases, probate lawyers use affidavits of heirship as an alternative to longer, more expensive, court proceedings.

    The affidavits can save a lot of time and money, but they aren't right for every case, and you should take the time to visit with a probate attorney to discuss whether or not the affidavit is right for your situation or not.

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  • If probate case is listed as inactive in texas what does it mean

    We own property silblings own contents on land and refuse to remove it says case is still open but says inactive on docket does that mean it is closed and ee own whats still there

    James’s Answer

    It sounds as though some judicial proceeding was started. Where the estate is in that process is anybody's guess on this website, with the limited information that you've provided. If you're concerned about protecting a property interest that you believe you own, you need to contact an attorney in the area where you live, or the area where the estate matter is or was pending. Spend a little time giving the facts to an attorney and you'll learn much more about how to protect your rights and preserve your property.

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  • Attorney in Guadalupe county needed

    mother died without a will and stepfather has filed administrator and I would like to contest- the assets he has listed who could help me in Guadalupe County I live in Dallas.

    James’s Answer

    This forum isn't a message board that attorneys use to solicit business, or that potential clients use to solicit attorneys. The "Find a Lawyer" tab on the top of the page is for that. You should look for a probate attorney that practices in or around the San Antonio / San Marcos area. There will be plenty to choose from, and some of them would probably be willing to visit with you briefly at no charge to get you pointed in the right direction.

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  • How long should you leave a deceased parents bank account open and do I need a lawyer to split the money up between siblings ?

    My mother just passed away and did not have a will. There is no debt owed on anything. House and car are owned outright, not financed. My brother was living with her at the time and does not have a job. He has been paying the utility bills and...

    James’s Answer

    You need to visit with an attorney as soon as you can. Your facts are incomplete, but it isn't clear how your brother has any authority to conduct business on your mother's bank account. Maybe he was a joint owner or extra signatory. The longer you wait to consult with an attorney, the more problematic your situation becomes.

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

    Need my power of att. paper but have lost it How did I go about getting a copy? would the lawyer who drew it up have a copy or court house?

    James’s Answer

    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.

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  • My brother has cancer. He has debts and a fiance (pregnant). What happens to his assets (house-worth 200k) once he dies?

    He owes over 50k in medical bills, 25k in student loan, and about 10k in credit card. What would happen to his house(mortgage paid) once he dies? Would his fiance get more rights if they get married before he dies? Thanks.

    James’s Answer

    Your brother needs to visit with an estate planning attorney. At the very least, he could execute some very simple estate planning documents that will likely avoid some significant costs in the event of his death. Surviving spouses (as opposed to surviving fiancees) enjoy some very favorable protection from general creditors. But nobody on this forum is going to give you any kind of detailed legal advice (we just don't know nearly enough facts). If your brother wants to avoid the impact of doing nothing, he needs to do something.

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  • Can I probate this will or will I have to do another proceeding in the probate court?

    My father died naming me as the executor and the beneficiary of all his property in the will. In reviewing the will, he failed to fill in the date on his signature page and the witnesses did not sign on the signature page. However, my father and...

    James’s Answer

    None of the attorneys on this forum could fully comment on the admissibility of the Will to probate without seeing the document. Having said that, the issue that you've described has been encountered before, and cases in Texas suggest that the Will could be admissible though not "self-proven." To best resolve the issue, you need to sit down and spend some real time with a probate attorney. Few proceedings in this area are particularly daunting for an experienced attorney, but all of them are challenging for the layperson encountering them for the first time. Invest some time in getting some real advice from an expert.

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  • How do i obtain copies of my deceased mothers life insurance policy and find out.if she had credit life insurance

    I believe My step father has cheated me out.of inheritance

    James’s Answer

    My colleagues have provided you with some great insights. If you believe that you've been cheated out of an inheritance, self-help is basically the same as no help at all. You won't resolve the situation yourself, and you'll only get more frustrated in the process. If you truly care about learning whether or not your stepfather has acted inappropriately, take the time to visit with a probate attorney about the facts of your case.

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  • What can I do to make sure money in my late dad's bank account is not all spent before she probates will

    The executor of my dad's will claims all it concerns is his home but I have a copy of will that my father gave me 3 years ago and that is not true...It concerns all his estate which includes a good sum of money in his bank accounts which I helped...

    James’s Answer

    You should do two things. Notify the financial institutions, in writing, that your father has died. Then, take the time to visit with and hire a probate attorney. You won't solve anything by yourself, and an attorney can help you invoke probate proceedings.

    Be prepared for the "her" in your scenario to claim that all or part of the money is hers. Bank accounts often have payable-on-death beneficiary designations, or you may have community property issues to deal with. An experienced attorney can help you make sense of it all.

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