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I was told by the Tarrant County Texas Probate Court that I…

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I was told by the...
I was told by the Tarrant County Texas Probate Court that I need an attorney just to get a Letter of Testamentary for my fathers bank account who died 2 weeks ago. He left a will with myself and one other heir leaving me as Executor. His only asset is a bank account with approximately 38,000.00. I am a CPA and have already acquired an EIN for the Estate and am perfectly capable of filing his 2015 tax return and all the Estate returns. I cannot afford to pay his bills, taxes and lawyer fees without access to his account. Is this true? Is it possible for me to probate from Missouri (where I live) ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Estate Law
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
3/17/2016
Estate Lawyer: Richard, Attorney replied 2 years ago
Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 57,047
Experience: 29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
Verified

Hi Michelle. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

First, let me tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your father. Having lost my own dad a few years ago, I know what a difficult time this can be. I will certainly keep you in my prayers.

Now with respect to your specific questions, let me address the issue of an attorney for letters of testamentary. The requirement is because there are two beneficiaries and you would be deemed to be representing both of those parties. So, without a legal license, it's deemed to be practicing law without a license to represent someone other than yourself. BUT, the process of filing probate in Texas is very simple and inexpensive. You should be able to get this done by a lawyer for under $1,000 and then once the Letters are issued, you can do the rest yourself. You will need to appear in Texas for the probate hearing. Under my terms of service with JustAnswer, I'm not allowed to make a specific recommendation, but I can give you direction. You would want to either contact the Texas state bar association or the nearest law school (I'd recommend SMU) for a referral. I prefer the latter because they take great pride in their graduates and will take a more personal interest in making sure your referral is a good one because it will be a reflection of the school. But, this is not a complicated case so you would only need a 1-2 year lawyer rather than a more experienced lawyer with the higher billing rate that comes with that experience.

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. But, I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

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Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 57,047
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Experience: 29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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