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When is it Proper to Use a Small Estate Affidavit?

A small estate affidavit is a legal document that can be used to transfer property to heirs without a formal probate. Not all estates qualify for small…

What are Valid Reasons to Contest Will in Texas?

His dad had been sick and weak. He didn’t even have the strength to write his own name. Nevertheless, after his father died, his stepmother produced a…

Is Property My Spouse and I Owned in Another State Community Property or Separate Property?

John and Jane Doe didn’t always live in Texas. Earlier in their marriage, they lived in another state, where John purchased a house the couple lived in…

Can an Independent Executor Alter How my Property is Distributed?

A man who was named independent executor in a Will called me. Someone told him that because he was named as the independent executor, he had the…

Who Can File An Application for Probate?

If an executor is named in a Will, then that person is generally the most logical person to file an application to probate the Will. The Texas Estates Code…

Will Former Spouse Inherit Bank Account if Named as P.O.D. Beneficiary?

I received a note recently from someone whose brother had recently passed away. Her brother was divorced and had no children. He was survived by four siblings.

Can Proceeds of Insurance Policy be Seized to Pay Debts of an Estate?

After you die, your estate is responsible for your debts. Creditors can make claims against your probate estate for what you owe. Assets such as life insurance…

Is it Possible to Avoid Probate in Texas without a Revocable Trust?

I have written before that Texas has one of the most simplified probate processes in the country. If a testator instructs in his will that there…