Skip to main content
Orsen E. Paxton III

Orsen Paxton’s Answers

2,784 total


  • If the warranty deed for a house lists 2 unmarried co-owners as JTWROS, is probate necessary if a co-owner passes away?

    Purchased property with family member and specified "as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship" on deed. Family member passed away (many years ago now) and I did not probate anything or think I was supposed to. Preparing to sell the home now an...

    Orsen’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    First, title companies don't practice law and don't represent people. Recording the deed means nothing. Whether or not the deed effectively created a JTWROS estate would depend upon a reading of the deed which we cannot do. Just sticking those letters or words in there might not be enough. Also, title companies are not forced to issue title insurance policies. So, they get to make their own rules about when they will and will not issue a title insurance policy and they can be pretty frustrating. You can probably get an experienced real estate lawyer to resolve this fairly inexpensively. Don't use the one associated with the title company.

    See question 
  • 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...

    Orsen’s Answer

    Mr. Pyke does an excellent job of first trying to figure out the question, then the facts, and then provide some direction. Bottom line is you are asking lawyers to interpret a trust document that they have not read and to use only the facts you provide to do it. I'm sorry but it can't be done and Mr. Pyke comes as close as possible to doing it. We sometimes see Trustees who act without the benefit of legal advice and it gets them into trouble. Just remember the lawyer representing the Trustee does not represent you. Get the trust and any changes to the trust or communications from the trustee to an experienced estate planning/trust lawyer where you live and get a real answer. There are remedies.

    See question 
  • Step-father is preventing court-ordered private visitation between mother & daughter. Mother in nursing home What are our rights

    Mother diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer 2 yrs ago. Nursing home located in Winnsboro, Tx Daughters live in Spring & Arlington, Tx Stepfather's children are dictating care of our mother. Stepfather believed to be suffering from dementia

    Orsen’s Answer

    This is an extremely complicated situation. One of the daughters may want to consider hiring an attorney and filing an application for guardianship for her mother. If she could get appointed as her mother's guardian she would be in control. It will not be easy or inexpensive but if she is successful the legal fees can be paid out of the mother's assets.

    See question 
  • MEDICAID DECIDED TO PLAY DOCTOR WITH MY LIFE & REFUSES TO PAY FOR MY NOVOLOG INSULIN I NEED TO STAY ALIVE. DO I HAVE A LAWSUIT?

    I have diabetes and require Novolog Insulin to keep my blood sugar levels down so I don't die and Medicaid has decided to play "Doctor" with my life in order to save a few dollars and is flat-out refusing to pay for my medication treatment I need ...

    Orsen’s Answer

    I am sorry. No, not against the Medicaid provider, which is the State of Texas.

    See question 
  • I am wanting to see if I can get co-guardianship of a stepchild without knowledge from the other bio parent?

    I am not wanting to take anything away from the mother, I am just wanting to legally be considered my stepdaughter's guardian to help make decisions. The biggest problem we might face is that the father is not listed on her birth certificate as th...

    Orsen’s Answer

    The short answer is "no." In fact, you cannot be appointed guardian as long as either of the biological parents have not had their parental rights terminated.

    See question 
  • My great uncle dies in 1936 and in his will leaves everything to his wife. She dies 1958 no will no children

    They had mineral rights in Texas that have begun producing revenue recently. Can my family (husband's heirs) claim the money or does it go to wife's heirs of which we know of none? They both lived in NY so what does NY law say as to who gets t...

    Orsen’s Answer

    NY law will govern the personal property. Texas law will govern the real property. The term "mineral rights" is often misused and can be extremely confusing. The mineral interest in land is real property. The royalty and other rights that come from the mineral rights are personal property. Even that is somewhat of a generalization. You are not going to get much direction on this website. You need to consult with an experienced probate attorney, probably in both states.

    See question 
  • Difficult IA probate situation.

    Can an IA step down on their own? Can they force heirs to take distribution as they see fit and sign off on them while implying they have limited choice in the matter? I am trying to work things out but not getting a lot of flexibility. Does their...

    Orsen’s Answer

    I'm going to assume that IA means Independent Administrator. I am also going to assume that this is an intestate estate. In other words there was no Will. If either of those assumptions is wrong then this may not be very helpful. The "heirs" and their respective shares of the estate are determined by the court's Order Declaring Heirship which must follow Texas law. So, no, the IA does not decide who gets what share and cannot force it. It is simply a matter of applying Texas law to the facts. The IA must provide all documentation requested by an heir but is not required to just automatically do it.

    See question 
  • Brother with DPOA will not tell me where my Mother is.

    Brother and Mother live in Texas, and I am in California. Mother was in an Independent Living Facility, but after a fall, was admitted to in-patient rehab facility. She is no longer there and brother will not tell me where she is. He said she doe...

    Orsen’s Answer

    A difficult situation. In terms of a legal remedy, the one with the greatest probability of providing some answers is a suit seeking a guardianship of your mother. That will not be easy or inexpensive but it does get you in court. It can include a request for an independent medical examination to determine mental capacity. You would need and experienced guardianship lawyer in the county where your mother resides. I assume that is in Harris County since you involved the Houston PD.

    See question 
  • If I give my mom power of attorney can she pick up my son from my ex?

    I am in the military currently stationed in VA. My ex currently lives in TX and our son lives there. We share custody 50/50 except he lives with her. She won't allow my mother (who lives 10 minutes away) to see my son for no reason but spite. I re...

    Orsen’s Answer

    I'm sorry but, no. You giving your mother a POA does not change the court order on custody and visitation. I am sorry.

    See question 
  • Can my mother get a Lady Bird Deed / Trust on her Homestead in Texas while she owes a balance on the home.

    Before my father died, my parents remodeled the their home to accommodate my mother with handicap shower, handicap ramp and other items to accommodate their needs. The loan was sold to Greentree Servicing, She owe Greentree Servicing (Est. $20.000).

    Orsen’s Answer

    Yes, probably, but this is easy to mess up. Please use an experienced real estate lawyer to do this.

    See question