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Ask Irwin Law Your Own Question
Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7404
Experience:  30+ yrs. handling probate estate, wills, trust, inheritance & real estate related matters
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My father was ill and ended up staying with my step sister.

Customer Question

My father was ill and ended up staying with my step sister. While there he had my uncle and cousin over and they (per them) signed a blank will. Shortly after my Dad passed away. Of course the will gave everything to my step sister. I am Dad's only child and we were always close. My Dad was easily confused and when I found out he was ill, whenever I would call my step sister she would say he didn't want me to know he was ill. This was in the state of Texas and has been less than three yrs. Would like to know if his will is contestable.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon. I'm sorry to hear that you're having this kind of problem. It is important to know the following information: What was the date of death of your father? On what date was will submitted for probate? Was the will probated and the estate administered pursuant to the terms of that will? I will be back online in about two hours.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My Dad passed away on either Nov. 22 or 23rd of 2013. My step-sister will not speak to me so I have zero information on the will other than one phone call where she stated that Dad had left everything to her. I work out of state, nationwide and Dad had talked to me that he was going to make her the executrix to the will as she would be close by and would be the most fair. This conversation was made a few yrs. prior to his death. He and my step-mom had their wills made at that time.My step-mom passed away a few yrs. prior to his death. He lived in Whitney Tx and I have contacted the probate court there and they state that no will had been probated with my Dad's name. I also checked with Tarrant co. which is where my step-sister lives and there was not a will probated there in my Dad's name. I was quite taken aback as to her saying he had left everything to her as Dad and I had a very good relationship and every time I came home, my wife and I would always go stay with him, instead of going to our house and he continually stated that he couldn't even stand having the step kids coming to visit but he wanted to stay in good graces, in case something happened and he needed help. We had stayed at Dad's for about a month approx. 4-5 months before he had passed and he had him a lady friend that they were quite tight with each other. Through other people I found that my step-sister had put some notions in Dad's head that she was stealing from him and pretty much negated that relationship. Then very soon after he fell ill and went to stay with her so he would be close to the doctors in Ft. Worth shortly after that he passed. Every time I would call she would tell me that he didn't want me to know he was ill and I was unable to talk to him. I was home in Amarillo a month ago and visited with my uncle, my Dad's brother and that's when I found out that they had signed as witnesses to a blank will. So now I'm trying to figure out what to do. Granted my Dad did not have much, but as an only child I have nothing of my Dad's. She now uses his house as her lake house and I'm trying to find out what I might be able to do about finding out what transpired and get what I feel is rightfully mine.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.
The one thing that stands out in all of the information that you provided is the fact that your dad had a home. If he didn't transfer ownership of the home by way of a deed before he died, or leave a will, then home passed to you and your siblings, not the stepsister. That is where you should direct your efforts from this point on. You should be able to trace the title of that home by calling the local County Assessor or Treas.'s office to find out who is paying the taxes. Then you can have a title search run and copies of deeds etc. which may have been recorded with regard to that home. Other than that, there is not much that you can do about finding your fathers property and assets this long after his death. I hope that this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating for my assistance. There is no charge to do so, and you can send me follow up questions on this same thread.