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Sally S. Andrews
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Sally Andrews’s Answers

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  • Does a will stand as written if the person who made the wil had verbally stated changes to an attorney?

    my mother had a will entitling 2 older siblings to her estate but right before she passed on she had verbally made changes to the will to her attorney but passed before it could be amended. she wanted to include the 2 younger siblings in the new ...

    Sally’s Answer

    Texas long ago did away with verbal Wills, and thus verbal changes to a Will. However, had your mother before her death written out her changes in her handwriting, signed and dated the change, two witnesses who can testify that the writing was your mother's could prove up either the changes, or, an entire new Will. The problem is most individuals and especially under stress do not always leave clear gift instructions. As you describe, only a Family Settlement Agreement clearly works to change the document.

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  • Independant Admin. Vs Dependant Admin

    In an intestate probate case, what is the difference of an Independent vs. dependent admin? Are their legal steps that heirs should exercise for either situation? What a the cons if you do not hire an attorney and depend on the court to supervise ...

    Sally’s Answer

    Courts are more likely to insist on dependent administration if there are minors taking significant portions. Independent is less expensive if there is agreement and respect among beneficiaries. Dependent is more protective where there is disagreement An accounting by a party who is not the administrator can be requested and obtained sooner in a dependent than in an independent estate. A request for an accounting and disbursement is not until two years in an independent estate. .

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  • What if my wife die am i the owner of the house

    I received a letter from a laywer saying that the heirs want to seal home. Well 2 of my children are in carserated and have ownership of home.

    Sally’s Answer

    In Texas, the surviving spouse has the right to live in the house (separate or community) for the rest of that spouse's life. However, if the house was separate property and you are in a second or later marriage, the children have the right to sell the house, as the right to live in the house is only to the couple living there when one dies, not one who comes along later. Your name may possibly have been added on if money was borrowed while you were married to build on to or improve the house, possibly giving you a right to reimbursement. The law varies from state to state so you need to speak with a lawyer in the state where you live.

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  • What do I need to do to go thru probate without a lawyer

    My mom died with a will. But I can't afford the 1200.00 for a probate lawyer.

    Sally’s Answer

    In Harris County you can probate a Will IF you are the only beneficiary and the named executor if the Court so chooses, and not otherwise. Is it necessary to probate? That depends on what assets are involved. For real estate, Affidavits of Heirship are often sufficient if filed in the real estate records, best if by two individuals with long knowledge of the family history. If there are bank accounts or securities and you have current statements showing the balance, an attorney may be willing to go forward on your agreement to pay the attorney from those funds. If the balance in a bank account or security account is small you can deliver a death certificate and after a period of time (five years maximum) the monies are placed with the comptroller's office. You can then produce the affidavits of heirship for delivery of the funds.

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  • 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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