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Who has burden of proof and what level proof is required to determine praternity in the case of a will, probate is in Texas?

El Paso, TX |

Person&sibling are recipients in aunt's will as "children of _"(I omitted name of father)to gain an inheritance.Person&sibling planned to split the money.Just after the death of aunt(the last family member of her generation), a woman came forward to claim to be a half sister to person&sibling.Person & sibling have no knowledge of this woman or their father having another child.Person's father died 25 years ago.They all submitted to DNA tests last year and result is "inconclusive."Woman has provided only evidence of 5 letters spanning a 15 year period, from aunt that addresses her as "niece". Aunt was elderly&drinker when the letters were written.Aunt shared information about this woman with 2 other relatives but did not specifically name her in will.Are letters&hearsay testimony enough?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

You do not state who has been appointed independent executor. Whomever that is would be represented by an attorney. That is who needs to address this question.

DISCLAIMER: This is not specific legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship.

Asker

Posted

Executor is another relative and is represented by an attorney. This attorney says it is a conflict of interest to get involved at that person&sibling needs other representation. Just wish someone could answer our question, getting the legal run-around.

Orsen E. Paxton III

Orsen E. Paxton III

Posted

You are not going to get a meaningful answer on this website because there are just too many facts that you cannot provide on this forum. If you are an heir and you want to contest the claim of anyone else who claims to be an heir then you need to consult with an experienced probate lawyer in the county where the probate is pending and hire a lawyer to represent you. There are many exceptions to the "hearsay" rule and we cannot analyze the admissibility of evidence. I don't think you have gotten the "legal run-around" from anyone. You have not taken the steps necessary to obtain your own representation. This is not a do-it-yourself project.

Asker

Posted

You don't have all the details, we have gotten legal run-around. I do appreciate your help. Just wanted to know if person had the burden of proof or woman. Would you recommend a good probate attorney in El Paso at the least? One that would be willing to go to bat on this one and just not try to settle out of court.

Orsen E. Paxton III

Orsen E. Paxton III

Posted

The person seeking to be declared an heir has the burden of proof to begin with but that burden can shift. Use the Find a Lawyer tab on this site to find an attorney in El Paso. Other good sources are lawyers.com and recommendations from friends.

Posted

You need to be VERY careful, here. I had a case where someone tried to perpetrate a hoax based on very similar facts to yours. The person turned out to be a criminal and not have ANY relation to the deceased. She is now in jail, but the estate lost a great deal of money due to her actions. I would have your attorney investigate this and seek direction from the court if it is not crystal clear what the situation is.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

Asker

Posted

Good to hear that you won the case and there are lawyers fighting the good fight. We are suspicious of this woman. Do we need to do a criminal investigation on woman? How did you prove person was not related? Did this go to court, can you direct me to your case and the details of it? Thanks for your time, it is greatly appreciated.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

The details have not been "published." In our case, she probably would have gotten away with it. She tried to do exactly the same thing on another case, and that was how she was trapped. In our case, the banks had supposedly frozen the assets, but she was able to somehow forge official documents and that allowed her to walk away with a substantial amount of money. Then she got caught.

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