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David M. Pyke

David Pyke’s Answers

888 total


  • Father dies left verbal instructions on who gets ownership of house

    9 children living

    David’s Answer

    Verbal equals no will. Property goes to heirs at law.

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  • Heirship Affidavits...can we still buy this home when heir owe money?

    Real estate investor wants to close a cash deal, but after getting heirship affidavits signed, we find the 9 heirs have issues, and a couple of them owe over $30K in child support. Their liens are more than the home's sales price. Is there a way t...

    David’s Answer

    Although all of the heirs' money may go to pay their debts, that doesn't mean the investor has to pay all of the debts to buy the property. You need to discuss this with a good title attorney.

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  • How can I obtain a court order without it costing more than the amount of money to be recovered out of daughter's bank account?

    Wells Fargo gives these options to release the $1674 in my daughters account after she passed away at age 26. 1. Probate will (no will). 2. Court Judgement of Heirship ($2000 atty fee quoted). 3. Court Order Temporary Administrator ($2000 atty ...

    David’s Answer

    I think you've seen the range of options. The issue is cost and liabilities. Although you might get an attorney to quote a slightly lower fee, in all cases you need to use the assets in the Bank to first pay the debts. No administration and small estate options aren't available because of debts. In this case, you walk away from the bank account and also walk away from the debts. There is no net estate to inherit.

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  • I need a lawyer

    my house was built by lgi has termits they wont fix the this. problem my number is 214 893 1212

    David’s Answer

    Termites are omnipresent in Texas soils. You would need to establish that 1) the builder used wood already infested with termites; or 2) failed to pour slab correctly -- cracks -- that allowed termites an easy point of entry. Either way, sounds like a tough case.

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  • My mom had Two Wills and my sister changed the will multiple times I lived in the home and took care of mom. Which will counts?

    Sister had taken mom to live with her(for 3 months) and wrote up a will giving her everything but mom got mad over it and came home over the new Will. She had signed it. Sisters husband (lawyer) drew up a contract for me to buy the house from them...

    David’s Answer

    The last valid will controls. If Mom was competent and not unduly coerced, the last will she wrote would be the only one that counts. You need to have the wills and facts reviewed by a probate litigator. A more precise answer can't be given without an extensive interview and consultation.

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  • Inheritance Rights of an Adopted Child under Texas law.

    A child is adopted by the child's father and the father's new wife. The biological mother's parental rights are also legally terminated. When the child is approximately 32 years old, the biological mother dies without a will. Does the child sti...

    David’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Under Texas law (did biological Mom die in Texas?), the child inherits UNLESS the adoption decree specifically terminates INHERITANCE rights. A general termination of PARENTAL rights does not terminate the Child's inheritance rights. In my experience, few adoption decrees terminate inheritance rights.

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  • What do I do once I have filed an affidavit of heirship with the county?

    My mother died without a will in 2011 and had a home and a car (both paid for) and a checking account. There are only 2 surviving children (Older child died after heirship was filed and didn't have a will either). The property needs to be divided.

    David’s Answer

    I disagree with my colleagues in this instance about needing a probate attorney, necessarily. If the heirship of the deceased child was completed by his heirs via court order, then those heirs and you should attempt to sell the house and car. The car probably won't be a problem at all. The home is where the rubber meets the road for you shortcut affidavit of heirship. I would retain a real estate agent to assist in the sell of the home, explain the probate/title issues, and ask her to have her favorite title company run title and advise whether they will require any court orders concerning your Mom's heirship. Do that before formally listing the house. If not, then you are good to go and the proceeds of sell of the house will be divided to the heirs in the appropriate percentages at closing by the title company. If that process doesn't work, you need a probate attorney.

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  • Question about spendthrift trust in Texas with regards to community property, divorce

    My brother has significant addiction issues, trouble with the law, trouble with money. He's married to a woman with similar issues, who seems to be obsessed with the fact that she will someday be "rich" when my father passes. After discussion with...

    David’s Answer

    First of all, nothing I'm mentioning here is DIY. You need an experienced estate planning/trust attorney. A trust is ideal for the brother. It is easy to prevent the wife from receiving anything from the trust. Inheritance is not community property but a trust won't be an inheritance. Trust language is important and you must carefully draft this type of trust to prevent the brother or his creditors from invading the corpus. Again, you need a lawyer.

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  • How can I avoid taxes on distributions from an inherited trust?

    My parents lived in California. They put several bank accounts in a trust. I am one of the beneficiaries of that trust. Both parents are dead. I live in Texas. How can I best avoid taxes on distributions from that trust? I want to use the money to...

    David’s Answer

    Income taxes are always due but the Trust or the Beneficiary. Otherwise, there might not be a significant tax burden. My suggestion: consult a qualified CPA.

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  • After signing a waiver, the executor is now hiding his actions and I believe he has stolen money. Can he still be removed?

    I trusted him because he's my nephew. Now things are not going right. My mother died 14 months ago and the house is just sitting there. He was late turning in the inventory. Now, a large amount of money in her bank accounts is missing. He claims ...

    David’s Answer

    Among things that can be done is for the executor to be required to prepare an accounting, it is has been 14 months since he was appointed. Since he won't even accept your letters, you need an attorney.

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