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David M. Pyke

David Pyke’s Answers

940 total


  • I have a Texas I love you will question.

    My Mother passed away, then my Step father passed away in that order. Both lived in Texas. Their wills are what I believed to be called I love you wills. As my mother passed first, the house went to my step father. He passed later and it's m...

    David’s Answer

    If your mother's will left everything to her husband, then title has completely passed to him. Unless her will restricts the transfer by way of a trust, her will has no further legal impact when he passes. Then, only his will determines who receives what is now completely his property. If his will only names his children, then his children receive all of the property. You should have the wills reviewed by a probate attorney to be certain of the correct interpretation.

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  • If a "will" was written in another county which the deceased did not live in. Is the will still valid?

    Over 4 yrs, "will" just came out stating Dallas County.. Lived in Collin County.

    David’s Answer

    The place of execution does not determine validity. Sometimes a resident of one county hires a lawyer and drafts and signs the will in that county. It happens all the time at our office since we represent people in Collin County but our office is in Dallas County. If the deceased lived in Collin County at the time of death, that is where the will must be probated.

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  • I just sold my home that was in Revocable Trust. Check from closing was made in Trust Name. Why won't my bank deposit it?

    My residence was just sold (homestead) that had been placed in my Revocable Living Trust three years ago. The Title Company made the check out to the Trust not me because the house was listed on tax rolls as the owner being "______Family Trust." N...

    David’s Answer

    it looks like the estate planning attorney who created your trust didn't explain to you what it means. It is not just "you" anymore and he probably designed the trusts to hold all of your assets, not just your homestead. The Title Company properly made the check payable to the owner, the trust, and you need an account for the trust. It is a trust asset and may be restricted by the terms of the trust. You need an account in the trust name, not your individual name. You need an estate planning attorney to review your will and trust to make sure the plan, as designed by the prior attorney, is working.

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  • Should my family set up a LLC partnership after death?

    My father passed away 2 years ago. My sister and I are executors. I have 3 other siblings. My question is if we need to set up a LLC., and what if any advantages there are to setting up one. All the money has been divided. There is land how...

    David’s Answer

    The recommendation to set up an LLC may be a very solid idea if the land is not sold promptly. Since it has been two years since your father's death, I think that is probably a preferable arrangement. An LLC can provide you personal liability protection in some types of cases, like someone injuring themselves on the property. It also can have the advantage to prevent additional probates if one of the siblings passes before the property is sold. Finally, it can be a vehicle to prevent a deadlock, e.g. one sibling holding out while every else agrees to a sale. But that is the rub, the rules of an LLC are spelled out in a document called its Regulations (or Company Agreement), and those rules determine who manages the property, votes required, etc. You should understand this document before signing it or transferring the property to the LLC. That is what your lawyer is for. Ask him/her.

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  • What do you do when a will is not probated

    My great grandfather passed away a few years ago. My great uncle, the person in charge of the estate, passed away without probating the will or doing anything else related to the estate. I'm not sure what my family is going to do, but my great aun...

    David’s Answer

    If the "great aunt" is "great uncle"'s spouse, then she is probably not an heir at all. In any event, she probably isn't the sole heir. Since the will wasn't probated, and it wasn't your fault, it may not be too late to probate the will. If not, heirship and administration will need to be opened. In either event, you need a probate attorney in the County where your great grandfather lived at the time of his passing.

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  • What is the first step in settling my mother's estate,she died without a will. she had stocks andbonds, real property.

    she also was part owner in some real estate property , left to her by her parents that died over 9 or 10 years ago but that estate was never settled. we are her survive children should we also be entitled to a portion of that?

    David’s Answer

    You need to open probate for your mother's estate. If your siblings are cooperative, this likely will not be a laborious process and independent administration from court supervision is probable. You will need to prove the heirship to the court's satisfaction. In any event, the court will require that you are represented by an attorney and nothing about this process is "do it yourself." Concerning the grandparents' estates, if there was no court action, or the estate wasn't distributed, you may have to start probate. Regardless, you need to start with a probate attorney who works in the County where your mother lived at the time of her death.

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  • How can I obtain advice on being an executor of my father's estate?

    My father is still alive and wishes to participate in discussions. I am the youngest of four siblings.

    David’s Answer

    Your father, without our assistance, needs to pick an attorney and draft a will. That is how you get named executor. He names you in his will. Thus, he must do more than "participate in the discussions."

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  • Can two Co executors override a third to close an estate.

    Myself and two siblings were named independent executors of our mothers will. The will has been probated for two years. Although the estate has not been settled because the third sibling is refusing to close estate until she receives property that...

    David’s Answer

    It greatly depends on what is left to "close." If it is selling real estate, a title company will require all three to sign. If it is writing checks out of a bank account you are all signers, then that might be possible for 2 to override the third. Also, you will need to check the language of the will. Does it say anything about unanimous consent or majority consent is required for the executors to act? Bottom line, this is hard advice to give per email and needs to be reviewed throughly with an attorney to discuss your options.

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  • What can I do to have the family will returned by another family member who is not the executor

    My parents passed away and I am the legal executor of the will and older brother removed the will from my parent home and has not returned it so we can take care of legal matters.

    David’s Answer

    The Estates Code has the perfect remedy. You will need an attorney, but you have your brother legally served and compelled to produce the will. Life will be much easier if you already have a copy. Once the will is delivered to the Court, probate should be straightforward. If you have a copy and brother lies about the whereabouts of the will, you should be able to probate the copy. You need to review the specific facts with an experienced probate attorney.

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  • How can I close my step father's bank accounts.

    My step father recently died and had been living with me since 2008 after my mother died. He and my mother were never married but, together my entire life. He didn't leave a will and has absolutely no living blood relations. He has a little over t...

    David’s Answer

    Unless the bank account lists you as to receive the funds per a right of survivorship or payment on death clause, you have no rights. A stepchild is not "next of kin", the stepchild is no kin at all. Everyone has living relatives -- they may be second cousins thrice removed and may never have met your Stepfather, but they are blood relations. They can open an estate; you can't. Bottom line, unless the bank tells you that you receive the money automatically, then you don't. A will would have been a great idea.

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