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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 42898
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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My father passed away yesterday. He had no will. I had general

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My father passed away yesterday. He had no will. I had general POA and his checking account has my name on it. His house and pick up truck was in his name only. What do I need to do to take ownership of his house and truck? Thanks

Thanks for your question and good afternoon.

My sympathy here for your loss of your father and dilemma .You will need to make application for heirship and for letters of administration..In Texas this is the process for a court supervised administration of his estate.Once you make application the county clerk files a notice in the court house.Once the time period has run you will need to go with your lawyer to a short hearing in front of the county judge.

You will be sworn in and go over your application and the need for probate.These are all done as a group on an uncontested day.Your lawyer will check to see when the judge hears these.Unless you are at the front of the line you will be able to observe a few of these before yours is called.

Once you are appointed here you will then have to file an inventory.The house and car will either then be transferred by you the personal representative to the heir(s) or sold and the proceeds done.You would pay any claims, taxes, due along the way, the personal representative/administrator is due a fee and whats left over is finally distributed here to the legal heir named by the court.The court applies the intestacy laws( now will) to determine the heirs and their shares.

You are also going to have to post a bond with the court since it is court supervised.Your lawyer can help with that.Also you will need an EIN number which takes the place of his social security number since he is deceased.You can do this online once you have your letters of administration from the court.

Here is what the aopplication look like..

You can locate alocal probate lawyer here to file.

Here is a simple chart to explain the law of intestacy.

It is realisitic to plan on this taking a minimum of a year from start to finish.If the house is to be sold then that is the big variable as to the time it takes to find a buyer.

It has been my pleasure to assist you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.I know that this can all be kind of overwhelming.Thanks again.


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This communication does not establish an attorney client relationship here.Information provided is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information.

RayAnswers and 3 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Reference to applying for an EIN number.

Also make sure you file for his social security death benefit.Its a small one time benefit you can apply here.

The POA here unfortuntely ends at death you will need to file for probate here to be able to resolve the house and car.

Thanks again for letting me help you.
One last thing for you here as personal representative you are entitled to a court approved fee as well for your work.

§ 241. COMPENSATION OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES. (a) Executors, administrators, and temporary administrators shall be entitled to receive a commission of five per cent (5%) on all sums they may actually receive in cash, and the same per cent on all sums they may actually pay out in cash, in the administration of the estate on a finding by the court that the executor or administrator has taken care of and managed the estate in compliance with the standards of this code; provided, no commission shall be allowed for receiving funds belonging to the testator or intestate which were on hand or were held for the testator or intestate at the time of his death in a financial institution or a brokerage firm, including cash or a cash equivalent held in a checking account, savings account, certificate of deposit, or money market account; nor for collecting the proceeds of any life insurance policy; nor for paying out cash to the heirs or legatees as such; provided, further, however, that in no event shall the executor or administrator be entitled in the aggregate to more than five per cent (5%) of the gross fair market value of the estate subject to administration. If the executor or administrator manages a farm, ranch, factory, or other business of the estate, or if the compensation as calculated above is unreasonably low, the court may allow him reasonable compensation for his services, including unusual effort to collect funds or life insurance. For this purpose, the county court shall have jurisdiction to receive, consider, and act on applications from independent executors. The court may, on application of an interested person or on its own motion, deny a commission allowed by this subsection in whole or in part if: (1) the court finds that the executor or administrator has not taken care of and managed estate property prudently; or (2) the executor or administrator has been removed under Section 149C or 222 of this code. (b) Definition. In this section, "financial institution" means an organization authorized to do business under state or federal laws relating to financial institutions, including banks and trust companies, savings banks, building and loan associations, savings and loan companies or associations, and credit unions. Acts 1955, 54th Leg., p. 88, ch. 55, eff. Jan. 1, 1956. Amended by Acts 1957, 55th Leg., p. 53, ch. 31, § 8; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 919, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 468, § 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 957, § 42, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.