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David M. Pyke

David Pyke’s Answers

899 total


  • How binding is a will?

    If my parents put it in their will that we cannot sell the house because it has to stay in the family, how legally binding is that? They don't want my brother sister and I to sell for any reason when they are gone. But my sister doesn't want to li...

    David’s Answer

    Essentially, the question is has full title passed to you and your siblings? If so, then you can sell it. If it is restricted in its terms so that full title is not conveyed, such as it is in a trust, then maybe not. Whether something is binding is based on two factors: 1. the proper wording of the will; and 2. the agreement or not of those impacted. If you and your siblings agree to sell after your parents' death, it is highly likely you can sell the house.

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  • My mother passed away a 1 1/2 yrs ago and her home is Co owned and the appraisal district states her ownership as estate of?

    She co-owned the home with her boyfriend, 50% each, he just passed away recently, since my mom's percentage of the house is listed as the estate of, does that mean it needs to go through propane still? I am the only living child left, do I have a...

    David’s Answer

    You have inheritance rights but must prove you are the sole heir by going to court. That is what probate is for.

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  • POA of my little sister who is 17 years old.

    My 17 year old sister (who turns 18 in June 2016) moved in with me. Her father lives in another country and does not obtain her Birth certificate, she does. We live in Arlington, Tx and I am trying to get a form/paper stating she is under my care....

    David’s Answer

    First priority is admission to school. Call the school and discuss with them how you can get her enrolled. Other issues are solved by a SAPCR proceeding or guardianship. If there is an existing custody order concerning your sister, you need to go to that court for a modification of the SAPCR. If not, you can consider a guardianship and should consult in person with a guardianship attorney.

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  • How is inherited money distributed among full blood and half blood siblings in Texas when there is no will?

    If what is left after legal fees is 18,000 and there is a brother of full blood and two half sisters what would each of them inherit?

    David’s Answer

    If the heirs are truly half-blood of the deceased, they inherit half as much. If, however, we are talking about the Decedent's children, they are all full blood to the Decedent. In other words, you are either a blood descendent or not, so half blood calculations only come into play when he heirs are remote, i.e. nieces and nephews, for example. Here is the statute.

    Texas Estates Code 201.057:
    If the inheritance from an intestate passes to the collateral kindred of the intestate and part of the collateral kindred are of whole blood and the other part are of half blood of the intestate, each of the collateral kindred who is of half blood inherits only half as much as that inherited by each of the collateral kindred who is of whole blood. If all of the collateral kindred are of half blood of the intestate, each of the collateral kindred inherits a whole portion.

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  • How can a parent file heirship affidavits in the Dallas Cty Court to satisfy a bank requirement to close a deceased account?

    I already have the affidavits prepared by a Texas attorney for the death of my daughter (I am in Washington State) that have been signed and notarized by witnesses. Now the bank is telling me they have to be "court filed". When I called the cour...

    David’s Answer

    Here is what is clear to me from you question: If the only asset that you can't access is a $1000 bank account, then further pursuit is probably unwarranted. You are dealing with a bank insistent on technicalities of the law despite the small amount. To do a small estate affidavit will cost $250 out of pocket, not mentioning the cost, hustle, and likelihood of failure (because you won't have an attorney). Here is what is unclear: if your daughter had other assets, real property, investment accounts, etc., then a small estate affidavit may be inappropriate and you need to consult an attorney for a more thorough probate process. Good luck, and bless you for your loss.

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  • Texas Temporary Guardianship or Custody of minor child while out of country, what is best?

    I care for a 12 year old who currently lives with me and we are moving to Ireland for 2 years. She and her father want her to go and he has sole custody. What is best and easiest for him to give us temporarily while in another country? Can he sign...

    David’s Answer

    I've changed the practice area to Child Custody so you get an answer from family law attorneys. I think that to have anything anyone in Ireland will follow you need a court order. Since there is an existing custody order, you need to file a modification and would need an attorney

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  • MY FRIENDS MOTHER PASSED AWAY IN MAY OF THIS YEAR, HOW DOES HE RETRIEVE THE BALANCE OF HER BANK ACCOUNT $1800.?

    HE TOOK CARE OF HER WHILE LIVING.

    David’s Answer

    You need to investigate the entire estate to determine the best option. Is there a will? Is there real property? Are there other assets other than the bank account? If this is the only asset and there is no will, the bank may accept a court-approved small estate affidavit. All other options would be too expensive for just a $1800 asset. If there is real estate or other assets, probably an heirship proceeding and administration would be the best option.

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  • A roofing company attempted to tear my roof off for non payment. Is this legal and what type of attorney do I need?

    A roofing company that I hired to do my roof did a shoddy job. They refuse to fix the work and I refuse to pay for work not done correctly. They continue to come to my home and this time threatened to take my roof off.. they had a latter out and t...

    David’s Answer

    Not legal. Call the police if they arrive again

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  • Can the attorney who wrote my mother's will be subpoenaed to testify? By law, are wills to be filed with the court in Texas?

    My mother is not of sound mind. My step father took her to his attorney to have her will rewritten. I have NO doubt that he did all the talking, basically rewriting the will to his favor. As a family member, I am extremely concerned about this. ...

    David’s Answer

    It is unclear from your question if your mother is alive. You state she "is not of sound mind" indicating she is alive. If she is alive, you can file no action, subpoena no witnesses, nor compel production of the will. A will is private until the testator dies and the will needs to be probated.

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  • I bonded my sister out of jail w/$ 2500 + my deed. My sister died b4 going to court. Will I be able to acquire the deed & $ bk?

    I have the death certificate.

    David’s Answer

    I would be shocked if the bond isn't released in this instance, but I've changed the practice area to Criminal Defense for someone in that field to post a more knowledgeable answer.

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