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Sally S. Andrews
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Sally Andrews’s Answers

13 total


  • My ex and I lived together for 1 year and before that off and on for 2. Do I have common law marriage rights?

    I would like to know if I can take my ex to court to get half of our money and household goods and vehicles. Everything is in her name and everything we accumulated after we moved in together. I was working bringing in the income and she was not e...

    Sally’s Answer

    Your own statement indicates there is no common law marriage. Although you lived together, you did not consider yourself married. Even if you were to consider yourself married, your ex will stress she did not so consider herself married. The third element, whether you held yourself out as married, is not indicated on the items you accumulated together. It also sounds that if you were to go into a Justice of the Peace (J.P.) Court there is nothing you can claim as solely belonging to you. Review your charge cards and chec book and see if you have any evidence of what may be owed back to you. If you choose to live with someone again, you may way to enter into a contractual agreement and take those items ;you solely pay for in your own name. You can represent yourself in Justice of the Peace court.

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  • How do i transfer title from my sister-in-law and my deceased spouse to me?

    My husband and I purchased a home in Texas with proceeds from the sale of our previous home. The mortgage, however, was in my sister-in-law's name because my husband's credit was bad and i had no income. My husband and sister-in-law are both on t...

    Sally’s Answer

    Have you decided you want to stay in the home and can you afford to do so if the mortgage is paid off? If not, and if the life insurance is not payable to the mortgage holder, consider not doing so. Since you are not on the mortgage, you have no obligation to stay and to pay the mortgage. I am concerned about your putting insurance on a home until it is determined that is in your best interest and that of your four children. If the insurance is payable to you, only 10 % would go into the Court registry for the one-year old.

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  • Can I remarry since I do not know the where abouts of my husband whom I've been separated from since 2001?

    I tried to find him on the internet and I discovered that he remarried in 2010. Can I assume that we are divorced and remarry? I have not talk to him or had any contact with him since Dec. 2001.

    Sally’s Answer

    Fran Brochstei's answer is right on point. Go one more step if there is a divorce of record: obtain a certified copy of that decree by determining the court in which the decree was filed. If it is not merely a divorce but has any provision for property that was community, including retirement benefits, you may need to investigate whether a declaratory or other action against him is necessary. You also need to be sure that the person with your husband's name is/was your husband, and not just someone with an identical name.

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  • In the state of Texas can a married couple have a joint will or do they have to have seperate wills?

    My husband has 4 kids from a previous marriage and I have one. We both want to leave everything to my daughter. I also have heir land and we have 2 homes together. We also have 2 homes together and some land in California. We would like to leave o...

    Sally’s Answer

    A Post Nuptual Agreement is sometimes used in a situation such as yours if there is major concern of a challenge from the children of the previous marriage. Such agreements are considered contracts, and hard to break in Texas. The California land is best put in a trust, however, and thus it appears a trust with a pour-over Will for you each will best serve your needs. The trust will be a revocable trust until one of you has died, in which case a good part of the trust becomes irrevocable.

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  • My husband passed and left our kids as beneficiaries on his life insurance policy. Is there a way that I can access the funds

    I've been told I need to get financial gaurdianship which I found to be extremely expensive. Is there any other way. My children or 14 and 12.

    Sally’s Answer

    In Texas most life insurance is community property and you are entitled to 1/2 the proceeds IF the policy was acquired in your marriage. If these are work benefits through ERISA, you should have had to sign off that the proceeds go to your children, as he could not sign away your rights. There may be some other way you are not entitled to 1/2 the proceeds, but the policy needs to be reviewed -- do you have it or can you get it? Is there a Will in which you are given substantial other assets? If so, then some courts have found you husband could make such a set aside, although I think incorrect. You are not entitled to have the 1/2 of the life insurance your husband could designate to your children, and you will not have the right to spend that money without Court order. You should receive a significant amount of Social Security money for each child, and those funds should make it possible for you to apply both to be Executor of the Will -- the way to assert your right to 1/2 the life insurance proceeds and to pay for Guardianship of your Children's Estate. However, their money must go into either trust or the registry of a Court.until each reaches 18. Court orders of partial withdrawals are sometimes made for emergencies or for special need of a child.

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  • I got divorced in florida on feb2 and remarried in texas on march 2 is the marriage valid if it was before the 30 days

    i am resident of texas not of florida anymore

    Sally’s Answer

    You are married in Texas. Technically you could be considered not to be married until after the 30 days. However, no one is going to complain if you use the earlier day. Also in Texas we have common law marriage and so you were married as soon as released by Florida law.
    Sally Andrews

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  • What can i do to get a life estate eviction for someone who refuses to abide by an agreement?

    I was willed a home, my father has a life estate, last year when the home was to be foreclosed because of 5yrs back taxes he called me and told me the home was willed to me, I then had to get the will probated, and get a loan to pay the back taxe...

    Sally’s Answer

    You have been given some good advice: the most important to hire an attorney, and not just any attorney but one who through extra education in homesteads and/or rights to real property can advise you. At a simple level, does your father have the money to pay you back? If not, no point in trying. Regardless of the agreement, as the remainder person (you), generally you are responsible for paying the insurance, and it is foolish not to do so if your father is not and the property is worth owning. Have you verified the property is free and clear and if not, what liens stand against it?

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  • What kind of power does a Power of Attorney have and someone with a common law marriage?

    Common Law Marriage was estqablished in Kansas but their Power of Attorney is in Houston, TX. The deceased passed away in Texas. Does the person who has common law marriage with the deceased have more power than the person who is Power of Attorney?

    Sally’s Answer

    As death was in Texas, Texas has jurisdiction, unless the decedent had no intention to make Texas his domicile and you can prove this. If, however, nothing was owned in Texas and there is real estate in Kansas, then Kansas has at least jurisdiciton over the real estate. Texas presumes another state's law is the same asthe law of Texas; thus the court will assume the common law claim from Kansas should be proved up the same as a Texas common law.
    As stated by lawyers below, the Power of Attorney has no power. However, if you can identify that the power of attorney was signed in an attorney's office, that attorney may have prepared a Will.

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  • Grandparent passed away. My uncle is the executor and I am a beneficiary. Will not give copy of will

    I know I was left a part of her estate. My uncle has had control of her money (over a year) and I would like to know where her money has been going. Can I legally have him give me bank, credit card, and stock statements (all her liquid assets)?

    Sally’s Answer

    Texas law requires that the Will be filed within 30 days. If it is not, you can retain an attorney to file a Show Cause request, obtain a Court Order that the Will be produced, or an explanation as to why not. This is usually all that it takes to get the Will filed, usually before the hearing. Do you want to start out so strongly, however? Perhaps there is another beneficiary on better terms with your uncle who can ask when he plans to file the Will.
    As to inquiring about what he did while in contol of the money, if he had her permission or a power of attorney, and if he spent for her needs, he has no obligation to show where funds went. Unless you have strong proof of a misuse, it is not worth the expenses involved to challenge, probably unsuccessfully, in my opinion. Hire an attorney to review any facts you have. The sympathy will go to the uncle who stepped forward to take care of your grandparent, and he is biologically closer than you, which also tends to favor the reaction that he likely did well by her.

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  • My husband died 3mos ago Do I need to probate the will or does it all go to me anyway?

    Married 46yrs -- own a rent house w/mortgage. Own our home, no other major liabilities.

    Sally’s Answer

    Mr. Olsen's answer does not match Texas law. Under Texas law anyone in possession of a Will is required to file it -- although many do not. He is also likely incorrect regarding Texas community property transfer IF your husband had any child from a prior marriage. The rest of his answer is correct.

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