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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38256
Experience:  17 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My mom passed away and we needed to probate her will. we

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my mom passed away and we needed to probate her will. we have been told they cannot locate the will at the courthouse. what do we do?
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: texas. we have copies of her will but there are no signatures on it.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: the wills were done back in 1981
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: my father had a stroke and cannot communicate well. my mom's will left him the house. my sister is POA and we are need of selling the house

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Customer: replied 7 months ago.
thank you

A will is not filed in the courthouse until a formal probate case is opened to settle someone's estate. So if there is no original signed copy of the will that can be found, then legally she didn't have a will. Default state law would then control who inherits what and someone would have to file a petition to be appointed as Administrator of her estate.

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That person would then settle mother's estate and mother's half of the property would go to father if they bought the property while they were together. Then sister could sell the property if she has a POA for father..

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That is unless they held title on the deed as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" or as "tenants by the entirety" in which case father would have automatically become the sole owner when mother passed.

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So the first step is to get a copy of the current deed and see how they took title. If it was as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety, you can just file a copy of mother's death certificate in the property records office and an affidavit of death of joint tenant and then the POA holder can sell the property.

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Otherwise someone will have to file a probate case to settle mother's estate before the property can be sold.

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thanks

Barrister

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