If my mom died last month in a nursing home and only has a small estate, do I need an attorney to file for probate?

She was on Medicaid. She was only in the nursing for 3 1/2 months and Medicaid paid $13,000. Her home is willed to me valued at $63,000 at last tax appraisal. She had no other assets.I am living in the home with my disabled spouse. We moved in 2 months ago to be closer to her and keep up the home. We have done approximately $4000 in repairs and the home is in bad shape. Her bank acct was a pod account, so will not be included in the estate. She had only 2 debts of $650. I have paid the funeral costs and can pay the other 2 debts. Should I just file myself?

Asked on November 10, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am not admitted to practice law in Texas (I practice in Florida).  However, I looked briefly at Texas law, and it appears that Texas has a shortened procedure for transferring real estate if certain conditions are met.  I strongly recommend that you consult a Texas probate attorney to assist you.  These procedures have very specific criteria, and your situation is complicated by the lien that Medicaid will have on your mother's estate. In the end, paying attorney's fees will cost you less than making a mistake.

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