Livens & Reed, PLLC

Absence of a will can create family conflict

No family is perfect. While all have their disagreements, there are some siblings who simply cannot get along. Unfortunately, this contention can continue -- perhaps even intensify -- after a parent passes away. However, having a will in place in Texas -- and giving the appropriate people access to it -- can often help reduce confusion and arguments between siblings following the death of a parent.

Unfortunately, uncertainties about a will has one woman in another state questioning the decisions made my her sister following their mother's death. The woman says that her sister -- who was their mother's caretaker -- claims there is no will, arguing that their mother did not want her to have any inheritance. In the meantime, the woman claims that her sister is selling her mother's belongings.

However, if there truly is no will in place as the sister claims, the siblings are likely all entitled to an equal share of their mother's estate. Though the sister may have had power of attorney while the woman lived, that power ended upon the death of the mother. However, the woman believes that the mother did, at one point, create a will. As it appears the woman suspects that her sister is being dishonest, it may be necessary to take legal action.

In order to disinherit someone -- as the sister claims is the situation in this case -- there must be a will that explicitly states the desire to do so. Without such a document in place, the sister cannot legally sell the mother's items or take money from her account. Often, in a situation such as this, it is necessary for family members to petition the probate court. However, most people in Texas feel more confident about their ability to take such action with an experienced attorney on their side.

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