by Robert Ray | Jan 30, 2022 | Heirship, Inheritance, Inheritance Overview, Procedure, Property
Taxing authorities can foreclose on your real property when you don’t pay your taxes. By statute, an owner may redeem real property purchased at a tax sale by paying certain amounts within a prescribed period of time after the purchaser’s deed is recorded. What does a tax foreclosure in Texas have to do with an inheritance? Read on and find out.
Inheritance and foreclosure
Let’s say an elderly relative doesn’t keep up with their bills. Tax payments can be missed or forgotten. A relative may need to be put in a nursing home, and while there, no one pays the taxes. The relatives may not know that a tax foreclosure happens in each situation. This can happen even with a property that is the person’s homestead. Depending on the facts, the heirs of the deceased relative may be able to redeem the property after the death of the decedent.
A situation like the above happened when an elderly man could not care for himself. 593sw3d167. His mother-in-law, Barton, asked her daughter, Karen, to quit her job to take care of him. When the man died, Karen was appointed administrator of his estate. Before he died, several taxing authorities foreclosed on his three-acre tract valued at $217,00 and, after his death, sold it at a foreclosure sale for $68,000. The land was the only asset of his estate.
Karen died shortly after the man, and Barton was appointed successor administrator of his estate. She then began the process of redeeming the property back into the estate. Barton was successful in redeeming the property.
The takeaway from this post is that a tax foreclosure in Texas is not as final as one might think. If you meet the criteria set out in the statute, you may be able to redeem the property after it is sold even if you are not the original owner and may only be an heir.
by Robert Ray | Last updated Dec 16, 2020 | Inheritance Overview, Property, Who inherits
Property not disposed of by will
A will must dispose of all property in all circumstances. If it doesn’t, the the laws of descent and distribution will determine who gets the property.
When a person executes a will, the intention is that all of the property will be disposed of. Sometimes that doesn’t happen.
In a 2019 case, 07-17-00296-CV, the testator made a will. In the will he left his half of the community to his wife as a life estate. When the wife died, he made three contingent provisions for the property to go different ways depending on the contingencies. None of the contingencies occurred.
Since none of the contingencies occurred and the will only made a disposition of the property based on those contingencies, it was determined that he died intestate as to that property after the life tenant (his wife) died.
by Robert Ray | Last updated Dec 16, 2020 | Children, DNA, Inheritance Overview, Others, Property, Time limits
Heirship proceeding are different from will contest.
This article deals with getting property that is yours based on an inheritance. This may occur where a person dies without a will. It can also occur where there is a will but the will leaves property to the decedent’s “children” or his “heirs” or something similar without identifying the children or heirs by name. It may occur when there is a will but someone has taken your inheritance without your knowledge or when you didn’t know about your inheritance. This is different from a will contest where you are trying to prove your inheritance.
Let us say an heir finds out that a relative died some years back and that they may have some inheritance rights. What can they do? Is the statute of limitations a problem?
This situation may arise because a child was unborn or was an infant when the facts occurred. It may be that the child is illegitimate or only recently learned through DNA who their relatives were. It can also arise when other heirs, not just children, discover their potential inheritance.
There is currently no statute of limitation on heirship proceedings if the decedent died after January 1, 2014. If the decedent died before that date, there may or may not be a limitation problem depending on the circumstances. This is complicated, involving heirship proceedings (trial brief), but there is a possibility that it can be done.
Don’t get this limitation period confused with the two-year limitation period for contesting a will. This article deals with heirship and not with contesting wills. And if the facts are in your favor and the case is properly handled the limitation of those dying before January 1, 2014 may be avoided. In a recent case, the decedent died in 1972. Her heirs didn’t file any proceedings until 2013 when they filed a suit to get their inheritance. The statute of limitations was not a problem because of the facts and how the case was handled.
by Robert Ray | Last updated Dec 23, 2020 | Probate, Property
Texas Slayer Rule
Recent UK case on the Slayer Rule
The Texas Slayer Rule is different from other state’s and countries’ rule but has procedures to accomplish the same end result. See this discussion. The Texas Slayer Rule is a rule that court’s use to prevent a murderer from inheriting from the person he killed. A link to the article is here:
Abused Wife Can Inherit Killed Husband’s Estate
by Robert Ray | Last updated Dec 16, 2020 | Contesting Wills, Inheritance Overview, Property, Who inherits
When a person dies, his will determines who gets his property. If he doesn’t have a will, then the law of descent and distribution determines who gets his property. Pay on Death (POD) and joint accounts with right of survivorship are different.
Financial accounts like checking, savings, CD’s, brokerage accounts and retirements accounts are not probate assets and they are not part of the decedent’s property if they have a beneficiary designation. The beneficiary gets the account and they are not divided between the heirs. What happens if you think something is wrong and the decedent was taken advantage of and this type of account should go to probate and be divided among the heirs, not given to the beneficiary? This article will discuss that issue.
Challenging a joint account
Paperwork is not in order
To challenge a POD or joint account with right of survivorship is not easy but there are ways to do it. The first thing to learn is whether or not the paperwork at the financial institution is in order. Texas requires specific words and forms to create such an account and if the paperwork is not in order, the account goes to the estate and not the beneficiary. Where the paperwork is not in order, you can challenge the account based on a fiduciary relationship between the beneficiary and the decedent or challenge the account based on the intent of the decedent to share the account with other beneficiaries. You can ask the probate court to determine who gets the money in the accounts. But what happens if the paperwork is in order?
Paperwork is in order
If the paperwork is in order, you can’t challenge the account based on a fiduciary relationship between the beneficiary and the decedent or challenge the account based on the intent of the decedent to share the account with other beneficiaries. Because the paperwork is in order, other evidence is not admissible to change the account contract.
What can you do? The account can be challenged based on the decedent’s lack of mental capacity to contract at the time the beneficiary designation was changed or added. This is similar to contesting a will based on lack of testamentary capacity. Filing the proper paperwork in the probate court, obtaining admissible evidence and presenting it in the proper manner to the court at the proper time is what needs to be done to challenge these accounts.
If someone is claiming that they own a financial account because they were designated as a beneficiary, don’t take that on face value. Have your attorney look into the accounts and determine to whom they belong.
by Robert Ray | Last updated Feb 2, 2021 | Property
Heir property Texas
Many people in Texas refer to “heir property.” What they mean is the property that goes to the heirs if there is no will.
If you are concerned about heir property in Texas, you should contact us to see if we can help.
People have many ways to refer to the property that the heir should receive. Heir property is one of the terms that is used.
There is more elder abuse today than before. People are taking advantage of the elderly to obtain property, usually by having the elder person make a will towards the end of their life or making deeds or powers of attorney. If the these documents are not contested, the heir property will go to the abuser instead of the heirs. Don’t let this happen. Contact us if you believe that someone has wrongfully taken heir property in Texas.