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Old Yesterday, 09:00 PM
 
773 posts, read 1,199,837 times
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I can't seem to find a category for legal advice. If there is one, please redirect this.


I'll take a gamble right here for now.


So, my mom moved to Montgomery County, TX to take care of my grandma back in 2014. My grandma co-owned a home with a friend; they were both on the deed. My grandmas friend died in 2014, and her portion was left to her sister. Then her sister died, in 2016, and left her's to some guy ( a cousin, I might've heard). According to probate documents. They all had wills and made that probate stuff easy, I guess.



Then my grandma dies in 2019, without updating her Will, b/c her original will left her portion to her friend (who died in 2014). My mom has lived in the house this whole time and been paying the mortgage; she is the only living kin of my grandma. She is being ridiculous for 2 years now and has not done probate b/c she doesn't understand anything, especially since supposedly it's now co-owned by a random person (the cousin), who in 2 years since my grandmas death, she has heard nothing from.



I know TX has a 4 year limit to do probate upon someones death, so my mom isn't out of time or anything. But she is broke and can't seem handle the stress of this stuff. So I figure if I can get a better understanding of what a probate lawyer would say will happen, then she might be more at ease to go ahead with it.


Also, is a house automatically someone's once left to them in probate court? Are they supposed to file a new deed on the house to get their name on it or no? When i search the property, it still says actively owned by my grandma and her friend. After almost 5 years, should this cousins name be on the deed by now if he actually wanted to inherit his portion or is that not necessary?


Also, how much is the probate process? I know it's roughly a 6 month thing, and without a Will, it costs more.


Any info would be awesome.
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Old Yesterday, 09:12 PM
 
3,500 posts, read 1,564,709 times
Reputation: 6471
You need to get an attorney to sort this out. You don't mention whether your grandmother's will had a provision to account for the other co-owner dying first. That makes a difference. Here's one link with some information: https://www.brennerattorney.com/what...-the-testator/

I repeat my advice above to get an attorney. Montgomery County may require one in any case.
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Old Today, 01:15 AM
 
638 posts, read 427,665 times
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Ought to get a lawyer. I believe if a beneficiary(the person getting something) dies either before the decedent(the person who died) any gifts to them go to the residuary of the estate to be distributed however the will says it should get distributed. So if it said my best friend get's my leather jacket and my kids get everything left over then if the best friend is already dead the kids get the leather jacket. If no residuary beneficiaries are named it tends to go 1. spouse. 2. no spouse then kids 3. no kids or a kid is dead then kids shares split between the their kids. 4. If no spouse then siblings/parents. 5. Then cousins.

Not starting probate can create some steamrolling problems like property taxes and chain of title issues that can snowball. However people open probate and don't distribute and close the estate all the time again for tax reasons.

Who does the will say is executor? If it's your mom and their are other heirs then she's got liability for not doing it.

Old will doesn't mean no will either.

Seen very bad instances where grandmas house never get's probated and someone 40 years later has to quiet title notice 40 family members to create a new title on the house to get a loan. You want to avoid that.

Last edited by jackalope48; Today at 01:24 AM..
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Old Today, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
3,391 posts, read 1,724,408 times
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Quote:
I know TX has a 4 year limit to do probate upon someones death, so my mom isn't out of time or anything. But she is broke and can't seem handle the stress of this stuff. So I figure if I can get a better understanding of what a probate lawyer would say will happen, then she might be more at ease to go ahead with it.
It's a mess. The only way you'll find out what a probate lawyer will say is to ask a probate lawyer who can review the chronology of the deaths.

Quote:
Also, is a house automatically someone's once left to them in probate court? Are they supposed to file a new deed on the house to get their name on it or no?
The representative of each estate should have issued new deeds properly conveying and recording the transfer of ownership to the heirs. That, obviously, was not done.

Quote:
When i search the property, it still says actively owned by my grandma and her friend.
Get a copy of that deed and read it. What does it say about ownership?

Quote:
Also, how much is the probate process?
That's also something to ask a lawyer.
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Old Today, 12:26 PM
 
3,500 posts, read 1,564,709 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adjusterjack View Post

Get a copy of that deed and read it. What does it say about ownership?


That's also something to ask a lawyer.
OP is probably looking at the property tax site, which isn't always completely up to date. OP needs to get a lawyer involved, and soon.
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Old Today, 12:58 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,485 posts, read 16,218,144 times
Reputation: 16169
Without providing legal advice, information only:

1. In order for a gift through probate to be completed, the gift must be accepted.

2. Who has been paying the mortgage does not determine ownership.


So, advice here is that you need to get legal advice. Contact a lawyer who specializes in both real estate and probate where the property is located. If you have no idea how to go about that, contact Lawyer Referral Services in the nearest county/large city near you. e.g. Houston Lawyer Referral Services (Houston LRS).
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