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David M. Pyke

David Pyke’s Answers

877 total


  • Can a lawyer be used before probate to "encourage" an executor to proceed in a timely manner.

    Parent dies, leaves son as executor. However, there are other family members who are not kept informed of process of proceedings. Its been about 3 months and son is dragging his feet and not supplying any documents (copy of wills, etc) to rest o...

    David’s Answer

    If the will has been offered for probate, you can get a copy from the Clerk. If son has not even done that, you can file an action to make him produce the will at court. Miraculously, some people work a lot more diligently when they know a lawyer is watching.

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  • Can the IRS seize irrevocable trust assets because a sole beneficiary and trustee have tax debts?

    Mom created revocable trust for her benefit, with son as second beneficiary and trustee when she died. She is now deceased, trust is now irrevocable, son is trustee, trust allows for complete latitude in his disposition of trust assets, and son m...

    David’s Answer

    The IRS has the right to seize and sell any assets to which the debtor has any rights. Whether the debtor has any rights is dependent on the terms of the trust. Regardless, the IRS will broadly assert rights to about anything.

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  • I am 19 can I obtain legal guardianship of a minor?

    I am 1 month shy of 19 and I am joining the navy and I have a friend who is 14 and she lives a hard life and her parents will possibly grant me guardianship so I can give her a life worth living is that possible? Any information will help thank y...

    David’s Answer

    A power of attorney is not available in these circumstances because a minor can not grant a power of attorney in Texas. Guardianship is legally possible, but how would you care for a 14 year old if you are in the Armed Services? You can't take her with you on deployment. I admire your heart and sympathy, but the Court may look at your youth and life situation to say that you aren't a suitable guardian. If she is being abused, APS should be notified.

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  • Deceased wife's siblings signed affidavit stating She was never married and They sold 18 acres ofland that I inherited .

    What can I do. I was legally married to her for 9 years.

    David’s Answer

    I'm unclear whether you are an heir. If the land was owned by wife's parents, then, absent a will, then her share would not pass to you unless wife pre-deceased parents. If your wife passed away first, then you are at least a partial heir. I agree with the other counsel, you need a consultation right away with an experienced probate attorney.

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  • What type of lawyer do I need? What is this process called?

    My mother signed over her 1/2 of my grandmothers home to me before she died. My uncle owned the other half and his will was started in Dallas probate about 5 yrs ago. The heirs of his 1/2 of the house gave the lawyer $1500 to start the probate. Hi...

    David’s Answer

    You need a probate attorney. If probate was filed and abandoned or never started, you need to jump in and finish. You will probably need an administrator, you will provide him proof of the theft by the other parties, effectively claiming all or part of their share, and then ask for the home to be sold. Contacting the heirs by yourself is a waste of time. You need a court declaration by probating the will who owns the Uncle's ½ of the house. Then, if they are cooperative, you can sell the house. More than likely, you will need to pursue a partition case in the probate. All of the legal actions will occur in probate court, so you need a probate attorney.

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  • I am the beneficiary of my decedant father who passed Jan. 2015. His estate is in Probate, his Will is valid...

    Dad assigned his bank as the Executor, who's hired a law firm to administer it- in the form of two Trusts, one to insure his wife maintains a decent standard of living and the balance of the estate in the 2d trust. The estate is large, composed o...

    David’s Answer

    The Bank's attorney's response seems reasonable in the context because it has been four months since your Dad's passing. Most of the time, until the estate is wrapped up (all debts and taxes paid) and the trust funded with the property, distributions won't be considered. The executor is probably not required to provide a full accounting at this time. To get a more precise answer, you will need to take the will to a probate attorney to see if there are options to demand an accounting and possibly a prompt distribution.

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  • Can a woman dating an elderly man, who has dementia & multiple health issues, be reported or charged with Elder Financial Abuse?

    My 86 year old father, living in an assisted living community, began pursuing a much younger woman. He has been diagnosed with dementia, (but became angry with that doctor & found another who would tell him what he wanted to hear). He went to this...

    David’s Answer

    This sounds like a guardianship situation and you shouldn't delay. Marriages are hard to undo after the fact.

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  • My grandfather died 35 years ago and he owned a lot of property and natural gas wells. His will stated that his assets were to

    His assets were to be split up between my dad, my brother, and my self. My dad got 70 % and my brother and myself each got 15 % , but we couldn't touch anything till my grandma passed. My dad lives in Texas and my grandpa was from Arkansas. About ...

    David’s Answer

    Understand, I'm doing some guessing, but it sounds like the will created a trust (which is why you didn't control your 15% share). If so, and the trustee either wasted the trust or violated the trust terms, you have a potentially valid lawsuit. The trust terms are most likely contained in the will, so take the will to a probate attorney to review . You should probably consult with an attorney in the locale where the will was probated. Is that Arkansas?

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  • What are the homestead Texas State Code laws? If property is left to beneficiaries under being irrevocable can it be changed?

    A home is left to beneficiaries, but later it is changed to allow someone else to live in the home (by virtue of a change to the most recent trust amendment) - is this allowed? The home is owned by the bypass trust beneficiaries so how would it b...

    David’s Answer

    So, here is what I discern from your questions: the house is in a bypass trust. The trust is irrevocable; thus, the trust can't be amended. So, who "changed" the trust? Any "change" of the trust after becoming irrevocable, presumably on the death of the settlor, would be invalid. What powers does the trustee have? Is he entitled to allow persons to live in the home or not? If not, then the Trustee may need to be removed. Trusts are never cookie-cutter documents, and the devil is in the details of each individual trust. Take the trust agreement to an attorney for review.

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  • In the State of Texas, how would beneficiaries get an Executor and Trustee removed? What constitutes a breach?

    There is a trustee who is withholding answering simple questions. He is acting quite emotional and being quite rude to us beneficiaries anytime we ask for information which is simple account type of information. He is rude, clandestine and not w...

    David’s Answer

    There is no "silver bullet" that guarantees an executor or trustee's removal. Building a removal case is always a matter of accumulating evidence until the scales tip clearly in favor of removal. You may be there; you may not. Only a sit-down consultation with an attorney will allow the attorney to address all of the factors, weigh the evidence, and advise you of probabilities. Hostility to beneficiaries, refusal to provide requested information, refusal to account, or secret dealings are all valid bases to possibly remove an executor or trustee.

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