Interesting Developments In Inheritance Laws

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Getting Someone To Make A Will May Be A Crime

 Obtaining a will maybe a crime in TexasTexas Law

Getting someone to make a will may be a crime in Texas. In a 2015 case out of the Dallas Court of Appeals, a man was convicted of a crime for getting an elderly woman to make a will naming him as a beneficiary. After the woman died, he filed the will for probate. Those actions constituted a crime according to the court of appeals because they were done with criminal intent. The court stated that “If performed with the requisite criminal intent to deprive whoever would otherwise have taken (the deceased’s) property after her death, the conduct alleged in this indictment—causing Continue reading

Texas Bank Gives Money To Wrong Person

Joint account with right of survivorship

Joint accounts

Bank is not Liable Says Texas Supreme Court

In what I consider a strange holding, the Texas Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that when a Texas bank gives money to wrong person, the bank may not be liable.


The case dealt with a joint account with right of survivorship. A husband and wife opened the account. The account was a joint account with right of survivorship meaning that when one died, the survivor owned the account. The account also had a pay on death clause that paid the money to two people equally when the Continue reading

Removal Of Executor In Texas

Removal of executor in TexasGrounds for removal of executor in Texas

A Texas executor can be removed by the probate court but not because the beneficiaries under the will don’t like him. A Texas executor can only be removed for specific reasons that must be pled and proven by the beneficiaries who are seeking his removal. Some of those grounds are gross misconduct, gross mismanagement and a material conflict of interest.

Gross Mismanagement

In a 2015 case from the San Antonio court of appeals, the beneficiaries pled that the executor had Continue reading

How To Disinherit Someone In Texas

How to disinherit someone in TexasHow To Disinherit Someone prior to 1991

Before 1991, you could not disinherit your heirs in Texas by stating that in your will. The only way to make sure that an heir did not inherit from you was to give all of your property to someone else in your will. As an old Texas Supreme Court ruling said ” . . . The right of the heir is defeated only by a substitution of some person to take in his place, and not by a declaration, or express intention, that he shall not take. Hence, though the heir is expressly disinherited, as if a man by his will should declare that his heirs or next of kin shall have no part of his estate, and not direct who shall have it, still the heir would take, not under the will, but under the law; for there must be in the will a devisee, to supplant the heir. . . . “. If the testator fails to make an effective disposition of his property to another, the property will pass to his heirs at law under the laws of intestate succession even though this might be against the testator‘s Continue reading

Can An Affidavit Be A Will

Can an affidavit be a will? Yes, it can be.An Attorney Prepared the Affidavit

In an old Texas case, the attorney testified that the deceased insisted on an affidavit. He refused to make a will because his wife was refusing to make one. The attorney recommended that he execute a will instead but he refused. The court noted that even though the gentleman told his attorney that he did not want to make a will but an affidavit, the affidavit was in fact a will.

Can an affidavit be a will, Yes it can be

The case upholds a jury finding that the affidavit is a will. The court noted that the affidavit is unambiguous and is clearly testamentary in its character. It makes certain special bequests and then proceeds to dispose of the maker’s entire estate. It Continue reading