Every Wednesday I try to answer a question I received from a client the week before. Remember, these posts are for educational purposes, reflect Texas law, and your situation may be different!
Question: My Dad died six years ago. His Will leaves his Estate to myself and my brothers and sisters. My step Mom now wants to sell the huge house they were living in and move to a condo. She claims the money from the sale is all hers. Is that true? How do me and my siblings get our share?
My Answer: Likely yes, but there is some work to do. A Will is only effective if it is probated. Until then, it has no legal effect. After four years from the time of death, the Will usually cannot be probated – but there are some unusual exceptions. Even if the Will cannot be probated, it can be used to pass title to property. That process is called a Muniment of Title. It allows the title of property to pass as dictated by the Will. It cannot be used in every situation, but it can be a useful process.
For you to get your share, we would need to discuss why the Will has not been probated to determine which process is best for you.
Just a reminder – no attorney-client privilege is created by this post or your application of its contents.