Unfortunately, when a loved one dies, a sibling or family member may feel entitled to take the property. At that time, however, other family members may ask the Court for an injunction. In this blog post, we review injunctions and estate disputes under Texas law. Of course, if you are facing this type of problem, you must reach out to an attorney for detailed assistance, as no two situations are the same.
In our line of work, we often hear this question, or a similar one. This is a very common scenario.
Sometimes, a sibling may think she is “entitled” to a deceased parent’s property or funds because she looked after an infirm parent for a substantial length of time, or for some other reason. She may do so without regard to what the deceased parent wanted, usually as expressed in a will.
Many people think that there is an automatic “stay” that prohibits anyone from taking a deceased person’s property until a court allows it, much like in bankruptcy. Unfortunately, Texas law does not provide for such a stay. As a result, the burden is placed on the other siblings (or perhaps other family members entitled to receive a deceased person’s property) to act.
One tool available in certain situations is an injunction. An injunction is an order from court that prohibits someone from doing something, like taking property. Obtaining this relief, however, is highly technical, is not automatic, and requires evidence of an imminent injury, among other things.
The first thing that someone who thinks a sibling is taking property should do is to consult an experienced probate litigation attorney, and preferably right away. That first step is often the hardest because most of us try to avoid family conflict, and understandably so. Nevertheless, time is critical in these cases because injunctive relief may not help after the siblings absconds with the property. Whether it is the Texas probate litigation specialists at Burdette & Rice, or someone else, you should consult a probate attorney as soon as possible.
In this blog post, we learned of the importance of perhaps asking the Court for an injunction in the event of a property dispute in a Texas estate. Pending a full review, the Court can prevent any party from taking action to take ownership or liquidate property. If you live anywhere in North Texas and are looking for a Dallas-based estate dispute attorney, reach out for a consultation. Time can, unfortunately, be of the essence in any estate dispute.