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Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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My mom passed away 6 months ago. A month before she passed

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My mom passed away 6 months ago. A month before she passed away she transferred to deed to her house to me. In her will, which I have not probated, she made me sole executress of her estate. Now my mom's ex boyfriend and my sister are vying for a piece of the pie. What should I do?
JA: Estate laws vary by state. What state are you in?
Customer: Texas
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: I have the will and the deed to the properties
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so

Hi! My name is Richard & I will be helping you today! It will take me a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I have the power of attorney, the hipaa release, the last will and testament...

You need do nothing with regard to her ex-boyfriend and your sister. First, with regard to the home, since she transferred title to you prior to her death, the house belongs to you and you need do nothing further. Second, with regard to the will, you need to file the will with the probate court to have the will validated as your mom's last will and testament and to be officially appointed the executor of the estate. To evidence this, the court will issue you letters testamentary to use in your authority as executor. I know that this seems like a huge hassle when you're the sole beneficiary, but this is for the protection of all involved parties. In order for other parties to be assured that the will is valid and your appointment is valid, those parties need verification from the probate court that this was indeed the valid last will and testament of yourmom and that you are indeed the authorized personal representative as evidenced by letters testamentary issued by the court. Otherwise, these third parties can't be sure that someone else is not going to later claim to have the valid will of your parents and to be the representative. These rules are also in place for your own protection to prevent someone else claiming estate assets.

If the ex-boyfriend or sister want to contest the will, the burden is on them to do so; you have no duty to do anything otherwise. They would have the burden of proving a lack of requisite mental capacity, fraud, coercion, duress, mistake and/or undue influence. It's a high burden that must be met to overturn the will.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your question. 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 Good or Excellent (i.e., 4 or 5 stars)(hopefully Excellent/5 stars!). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
If I probate the will and she had credit cards debts and other debts will the credit companies come after me?

Thanks for following up. Only to the extent of assets in her estate. If the assets in her estate are not sufficient to pay these debts, you are not personally liable. In that event, the creditors will simply have to write off the debts as uncollectible.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
But if the house is more than the debts, than they have to be paid off. I would rather not probate the will, but if I don't, then you are saying that someone could possbily try to take the house?

Since the house was transferred prior to death, the house is not a probate asset and thus not subject to claims from the creditors.

Richard and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thanks

You're very welcome. It's been my honor and privilege to help you with this. If I can help you in any way in the future, I'll be happy to help. For easy access, my bookmark is: www.justanswer.com/law/expert-legalbeacon/ . Or, simply request “Richard only” in the first line of your question.

Thank you so much for the 5-star rating! I know rating takes an additional step and I truly appreciate you taking the extra time!