When a loved one passes away, the process of settling their estate can be a difficult and emotional time. Unfortunately, it can also be a time when family members may disagree over the distribution of assets. This case study focuses on probate law in Texas, and discusses the actions that the client can take when beneficiaries disagree during probate proceedings.
Facts & Procedural History
The client’s stepfather passed away, and a will was admitted into probate in the appropriate county. The will named the client and their sister as beneficiaries, and the sister as the executor of the will. The house was sold and the bank account was emptied, but the sister refuses to give the client their half of the money. The client also received tax documents from the title company stating they owe taxes on money that was never received.
Probate Law in Texas
Under Texas probate law, the executor of a will is responsible for carrying out the instructions outlined in the will and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries. In this case, since the client’s sister was named as the executor, she is responsible for distributing the estate’s assets, including the proceeds from the sale of the house, to the beneficiaries as outlined in the will.
Options for the Client
If the client’s sister is refusing to distribute the assets as outlined in the will, the client can file a petition with the probate court to have the sister removed as executor and replaced with a neutral party. This would allow for the assets to be distributed correctly. The client should be aware that they may be held liable for taxes on the money they never received if they are listed as a beneficiary on the tax documents.
Time Limits and Importance of Legal Assistance
It is important to note that there are time limits in which to file a legal action, so it is crucial for the client to act quickly to resolve this matter. Seeking legal assistance from an experienced probate attorney can ensure that the client’s rights are protected, and that the assets are distributed in accordance with the will.
Probate law can be complex and overwhelming, but it is important to remember that there are legal options available to ensure that the assets are distributed fairly. In this case, the client can petition the probate court to remove the sister as executor and appoint a neutral party. They should also consult with a tax professional to ensure they are in compliance with tax laws regarding the money they never received.
Do you need help with a probate matter in San Antonio or the surrounding area? We are San Antonio probate attorneys. We help clients navigate the probate process. Call today for a free confidential consultation, (210) 239-8518.
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The content of this blog, including the case study discussed, is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information presented may not apply to your specific situation, and should not be acted upon without consulting with a qualified attorney. We encourage you to seek the advice of a competent attorney with any legal questions you may have.
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