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probate litigation
11Where to file probate court
Estate planning can be a contentious issue, especially when it comes to siblings. A recent article in the Houston Chronicle highlights the story of a man whose parents had a complex estate plan that led to a lengthy legal battle between him and his siblings. The man’s parents had owned a successful business and had...
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In Texas, as in other states, a testator – the person who made the will – must be of “sound mind” to make a valid will. This means that the testator must understand that he or she is making a will, knows the natural objects of his or her bounty, and understand the disposition he...
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The “order of no administration” is one of the alternatives to a full probate. It is used when the estate has some assets, but the award of a family allowance would exceed the value of the assets. Since the family allowance is paid before nearly all other claims to the estate assets, there is no...
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Introduction: Filing or Contesting a Will Texas Probate Court is the court in charge of handling the probate process for deceased persons who resided in Texas. This includes distributing their assets to heirs and resolving any debts or claims against the estate. The court also has jurisdiction over guardianship and conservatorship matters involving incapacitated adults...
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11Where to file probate court
Excluding Witness Testimony A court may exclude a witness testimony from a suit for several reasons. This exclusion will be upheld so long as the court did not abuse its discretion in doing so. What constitutes an abuse of discretion? Morrow v. H.E.B., Inc. discusses this. Probate Case Morrow v. H.E.B., Inc., 714 S.W.2d 297...
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Introduction So, your property was condemned by the city’s eminent domain power. Now what? If this happened to you in Texas, you might be wondering if the land that is being taken is considered as one tract or not. Luckily, there’s an answer to this question. It turns out, if your land is divided into...
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In Texas, it is not possible to make an affidavit based on belief alone. You must have knowledge of a fact in order for the affidavit to be valid under Texas law. To understand this better, let’s look at the 1996 case, Williams v. Bagley. Legal Terminology Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 682: No...
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Huitron v. Kaye, 2022 UT 36 (Utah 2022) The Utah Supreme Court reversed the lower court, which had denied the defendant’s motion for partial summary judgment. The Supreme Court ruled that since the plaintiff did not file his personal injury lawsuit in time, he was limited to pursuing what money was held by the estate....
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Testamentary capacity is the legal term that refers to someone’s mental ability to make a will. Testamentary capacity can be diminished or lost if a person has certain delusions, but a delusion in and of itself might not establish a lack of testamentary capacity. This case answers the question: When does a court find that...
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Invalid Wills The Texas Estates Code defines a will as a testamentary instrument that either (1) appoints an executor or guardian, (2) directs how property may not be disposed of, or (3) revokes another will. Note that the document does not have to meet all three requirements to be a valid will. State law provides...
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