Probate

Estate Planning | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath | Dallas, TX

► Capacity to sign

Different legal actions require different levels of mental capacity to be valid.  For example, the level of mental capacity required to sign a will, referred to as “testamentary capacity,” is lower than the level of capacity required to sign a contract, called “contractual capacity.” The various standards are discussed below. Capacity to Sign a Will […]

Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP | Dallas, TX

Trial by “Special Judge”

Under Chapter 151 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, parties to any civil litigation, including probate litigation, may choose to conduct a trial before a “Special Judge” instead of proceeding to trial before the probate court or a jury, and instead of pursuing expensive arbitration. The requirements for trial by special judge follow: The […]

Probate Law | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP

Dallas probate FAQs

Can I probate a Will in Dallas without an attorney? Unfortunately, no.  The Probate Courts do not allow individuals to appear on behalf of themselves.  For all purposes in Probate Court, you must hire a lawyer. I’ve been appointed as the Executor of a Will.  What am I supposed to do? The first things you […]

Probate Law | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP

The probate process for a valid Texas will

The Executor of a Will has the responsibility of submitting the Will for probate.  Under the rules of the probate courts, an individual desiring to probate a Will must be represented by an attorney; and the attorney must appear in court on behalf of the executor of the will whenever a court appearance is required.  […]

Chris WIlmoth | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP

Advantages of trial by “Special Judge”

Under Chapter 151 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, parties to any civil litigation, including probate litigation, may choose to retain a “Special Judge” instead of proceeding to trial before the court or a jury.  In a 2015 article appearing in Headnotes, published by the Dallas Bar Association,  Judge Marty Lowy (Former) analyzed the […]

Liza Farrow-GIllespie | Farrow-GIllespie & Heath LLP | Dallas, TX

Power of attorney liability

A person (“agent”) holding a power of attorney for another person (the “principal”) must act with the utmost degree of loyalty to the principal.  The agent must avoid being involved in any transaction which benefits, or even which potentially benefits, the agent. That rule of law was enforced once again in 2015 by the Texas […]