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Beth Ann Serafini-Smith

Beth Serafini-Smith’s Answers

14 total


  • Does a will have to have an executor?

    Beth’s Answer

    Even though your mom's will failed to name an executor, that doesn't mean the will is invalid. There are several requirements for a will to be valid and naming an executor is not one of them. Hopefully, the beneficiaries named in the will agree to who will serve as an executor, otherwise, the Court can appoint one. Please contact a probate lawyer to discuss this matter further.

  • Can I self prepare a Muniment of Title to probate my Aunts will?

    Beth’s Answer

    Hiring an attorney is always the best idea to ensure you handle the probate matter efficiently and correctly. Muniments of Title can only be accomplished if certain criteria are met. An attorney can help you navigate through the muniment of title process or any other probate process that is needed.

  • Questions regarding a will?

    Beth’s Answer

    Yes, your mother is allowed to sell the house. She owned the house after your dad passed away.

  • Can someone please explain what this paragraph in my father's will means?? I am the sole executor of his estate.

    Beth’s Answer

    Your dad wants the Court to appoint you as the Executor to his estate. Once you file the necessary documents and get to Court, the Judge will decide if you qualify to be the Executor. If the Judge agrees to appoint you as the Executor, you can then administer your dad's estate without any further Court involvement; you can act independently of the Court. I would suggest contacting a probate attorney who can walk you through this process.

  • Can we force step mother to probate father estate?

    Beth’s Answer

    Your step mom will not be able to sell the house if your dad's name is on the house without some sort of probate proceeding. I would suggest speaking with a probate attorney to discuss your options, sooner rather than later.

  • Can I obtain a probate document or letter of testamentary without a lawyer?

    Beth’s Answer

    It is not advisable to try to tackle your probate matter without an attorney. There are different probate paths that might be available and a consultation with an attorney can help you sort the options out. Many attorneys give free consultations. You can discuss the attorney's fees at the consultation. Paying an attorney to handle the probate matter successfully may save you time and frustration later down the road if you handle it yourself and it's done improperly.

  • Can a deed be put in my moms name after my dad passed although they never married?

    Beth’s Answer

    A probate proceeding will need to be started in order to get the deed to the property transferred out of your dad's name. Who the deed transfers to depends on how the property passes under the intestate laws of Texas, and it also depends on if your mom was his common law spouse. Contact a probate attorney to help you sort this out.

  • Do we need a special will?

    Beth’s Answer

    Your husband can leave his belongings to anyone he wants to through a valid Texas Will. An invalid Will would open the door for his biological children to inherit through the Texas Descent and Distribution laws.

  • I have a codicile to my husband's will naming me, his wife as independent Executrix of his will and estate and trustee of all .

    Beth’s Answer

    If you are the beneficiary to his IRA you shouldn't need to do anything except provide a death certificate to the company who holds the IRA. At that time they will be able to help you gain ownership of these funds.
    Just because you are named as Independent Executrix in his codicil doesn't mean you have been appointed as such; you must be appointed as such by the Judge in a probate proceeding in order to have the Executrix powers and handle the decedent's estate.

  • Can I sell my father's property after his death?

    Beth’s Answer

    Death terminates the power of attorney (POA) and the POA is no longer valid. If you need to sell the property after your dad's death then you need to do some sort of probate proceeding. A probate attorney can explain the probate process and help you take care of everything that will need taken care of.