Stephen A. Mendel’s Answers

Stephen A. Mendel

Houston Estate Planning Attorney.

Contributor Level 12
  1. Is a house that was purchased by mom , dad and myself mine since they have passed away.

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Stephen A. Mendel
    2. David Grant Voeller
    3. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    4. Jeff Tomberg
    4 lawyer answers

    Dear Houston Daughter: You need to see an attorney immediately. The tax delinquency is getting worse by the month, because penalties and interest will be assessed when the taxing authority eventually learns the truth. Whether you own the house outright depends on the what the deed says. However, if your deed is typical of what is usually issued, then you and your siblings are probably co-owners of the property. Each sibling’s percentage of ownership, if any, will depend on what the...

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

  2. My mother just recently passed away she had no living will. She has 5 children she a son who lives in her home now. Who has the

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Orsen E. Paxton III
    2. Stephen A. Mendel
    3. Robert Embry Price
    4. Steven J. Fromm
    5. Lawrence A Friedman
    5 lawyer answers

    In addition to the comments by Messrs. Paxton and Fromm, you should immediately seek the advice of legal counsel. It is September and property tax statements will be coming out in October and November, with the tax payments due by January 31 of next year. A common problem after the death of a parent is who is going to pay the taxes on the family home. An even bigger problem is whether anyone has the financial resources to pay the taxes. If the taxes are being escrowed by a mortgage company,...

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. What is considered a conflict of interest?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Stephen A. Mendel
    2. Eric B. Dick
    3. James P. Frederick
    3 lawyer answers

    Your question is difficult to answer, because the answer depends on a review of certain documents and the need for further information that you may not have. In order to make an informed decision about what to do, you should set an appointment with a probate attorney to review the assets of the estate. You should provide the attorney with a list of the homes, including any debts or taxes owed on the homes, as well as a print-out about the homes from the Harris County Appraisal District....

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

  4. My wife's sister has power of attorney over her mother and father. My wife's father recently passed away. There is a will.

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Stephen A. Mendel
    2. James Brian Thomas
    3. Robert E. Philo Jr.
    4. Randall F Kaiden
    4 lawyer answers

    A power of attorney is no longer valid when the principal under the power of attorney dies. Once there is a death, the next document of any legal force is the decedent's Last Will & Testament. Given your sister-in-law's statement that the Will is not worth the paper it is written on, it appears that she possesses the Will. I would ask a court to require the sister-in-law to file the Will with the court. Good luck.

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  5. Since my father preceded his mother in death and her will left him as 1 of 3 heirs who is entitled to his part now?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Stephen A. Mendel
    2. Isaac David Shutt
    3. Nicholas Abaza
    4. Kelly M. Shovelin
    4 lawyer answers

    Whether you and your siblings inherit your father's share of your grandmother's estate depends on what your grandmother's Will says. For example, many Wills provide that if a child (your father) predeceases their parent (your grandmother), then the share that would go to the deceased child (your father) passes to his descendants (which would be you and your siblings) on what is a called a per stirpes basis. In other words, your father's 1/3 share would be split equally among you and your...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. What exactly is a "receipt for assets from independent executor"

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Steven Drew Baker
    2. Stephen A. Mendel
    3. Eric B. Dick
    4. Jeff Tomberg
    4 lawyer answers

    Your question is difficult to answer, because the answer depends on a review of certain documents and the need for further information that you may not have. In order to make an informed decision about what to do, you should set an appointment with a probate attorney to review the Receipt that you were asked to sign. In addition, be sure to provide the attorney with: (1) a copy of your grandmother’s Will; (2) an instrument filed with the Court called an Inventory, Appraisement, and List of...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  7. Who enforces the Rule 11 agreement?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Stephen A. Mendel
    1 lawyer answer

    The ultimate enforcer of a Rule 11 agreement is the judge of the court where the case is pending.

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  8. Should I allow the bank to forclose on a house I can no longer make payments on?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Stephen A. Mendel
    1 lawyer answer

    This is a very difficult question. You need to decide what is more important: (1) selling the home at a discount, so as to reduce your potential liability exposure; or (2) giving up, walking away from the home, and hoping the lender does not sue you for a deficiency judgment. You might also consider a "short sale", which is where the lender approves of a lower price, or whether to rent the home in lieu of a sale.

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  9. Would household income disqualify someone from Medicaid eligibility in Texas?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Stephen A. Mendel
    1 lawyer answer

    In order for your brother to apply for Medicaid, his share of the duplex needs to be titled in his name only, and your share of the duplex needs to be titled in your name only. Your income should not disqualify him because you live separately (albeit in a duplex) from him. Furthermore, make sure you do not have joint accounts.

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  10. I purchased a home with a contract for deed in Texas. I have now paid off the home. How can I get the title

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Stephen A. Mendel
    2. Pamela Koslyn
    2 lawyer answers

    The filing of a contract for deed is simple, You go to the real property division of the Harris County Clerk's Office at 201 Caroline, Houston, TX 77002, The real property division will handle your filing. Please note, however, that the recording of a contract for deed does not mean you own the property. It just means you have a right to receive a deed once the purchase price has been paid. To obtain title, you need a deed. To obtain a deed, you should contact an attorney to prepare...

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