Terry Lynn Garrett

Terry Lynn Garrett

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  • Estate Planning, Elder Law, Probate
  • New York, Texas
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Summary

Terry Garrett advises people in Central Texas who are preparing for and enjoying their retirement years and people with special needs and their families. Her clients range from couples who are just starting out and people who want to stay in charge during retirement to families with multinational businesses. Having worked and studied in Asia for many years, she also enjoys advising on transnational planning. Terry Garrett graduated with honors from Cornell University. She was on the Dean's List at Wharton Business School. She earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School, receiving the Parker Award and a Melon Fellowship. She attended the Harvard Law School Negotiation Program and earned every certificate offered by the New York Institute of Finance. She is active in the Texas and Austin Bar Associations and a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She is an Approved Guardianship Attorney and is appointed by Central Texas courts in heirship proceedings. She handles pro bono cases for Volunteer Legal Services, the Austin Bar Association and the Women's Resource Fair. Mother of a child with special needs, she also teaches for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Over the years she has volunteered for the Council on Adoptable Children, the AFS foreign exchange student program, Cornell Cares, Hands on Housing and as an officer of the Harmony PTO.

Practice Areas
  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Probate
Additional Practice Area
  • Special Needs Planning
Fees
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
New York
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Texas
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Languages
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
Professional Experience
The Garrett Law Firm, PLLC
Current
Education
Columbia University
J.D. (1983) | law
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Honors: Parker Award, Mellon Fellowship
Activities: President, International Law Society; International Law Review, Environmental Law Review; Chinese and Japanese law study groups
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Professional Associations
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
Current
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National Guardianship Association
Current
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Texas State Bar # 24048146
Member
- Current
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Austin Bar Association
- Current
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Speaking Engagements
Noncitizens and Public Benefits, 2020 UT Special Needs Trust Conference, Austin, Texas
University of Texas School of Law
Certifications
Approved Guardianship Attorney
State Bar of Texas
Websites & Blogs
Website
Legal Answers
727 Questions Answered

Q. I am POA for senior parents. What is the liability for them & me if they get in an auto accident?
A: You are liable for negligence. Whether a jury will rule that you were negligent in continuing payments for car insurance and gas and not taking away the keys or disabling the car cannot be accurately predicted.
Q. parents died without a will, affidavit of heirship filed, how can deed be placed in younger sister's name if all agree?
A: Relying on the Affidavit of Heirship (which a court will not enforce until it has been of record for five years with no one complaining that they were omitted), each of the other siblings can sign a special warranty deed granting their interest in the property to the younger sister as a gift. They will want a lawyer to draft and record the deed to make sure that it is done correctly.
Q. If child 18 yrs died 4 1/2 months AFTER her father in TX, is she an heir equal to her 4 siblings and 2 step siblings?
A: Hire a local probate attorney and do this ASAP.
Q. I am 80 years old, what are the pros and cons of selling my home, putting the cash in the bank, and renting a home?
A: Given your age, this largely turns on (1) whether you are one of the over 70% of Texans who must apply for Medicaid to pay for long term care and (2) whether you are willing to enter a Medicaid nursing home in order to preserve the home for your spouse, child or whomever else you want to leave it to. Private pay only nursing homes probably provide better care. Paying for private care at home as long as you can probably provides for better care. The advice of most elder lawyers is likely that you earned the money and you should spend it on getting yourself the best care you can for as long as you can. If you can do that without selling your home but want to hedge against maybe someday needing Medicaid, talk with a local elder law attorney about recording a Lady Bird Deed to transfer the home on your death free of probate and free of Medicaid estate recovery. You can find one near you using the Find a Lawyer function on the website of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (www.naela.org)
Q. What practice area would apply to an international high dollar love scam regarding an USA elder man and foreign lady
A: This is elder exploitation, handled by some elder lawyers and investigated by the FBI.
Q. Does paying back taxes on a commercial property whose owner deceased with no will; property in probate, give ownership?
A: No. After the heirs probate the estate and receive their distributions, they may sell the property. Or a creditor may probate the estate, file a claim, be reimbursed and, after all bills of the deceased and the estate are paid, distribute what remains to the heirs. Contact a local probate attorney.
Q. What can be done when the state seeks guardianship of my dad?
A: You can hire an Approved Guardianship Attorney and apply to become his guardian yourself. Usually no guardian is needed if there is a valid Medical Power of Attorney and a valid Durable Power of Attorney. But from your description, someone may need to take away the keys, regularly check on your father and maybe provide some support and supervision.
Q. Can I find any information on whether my father left a will in Texas?
A: While some people deposit their will with the local probate court, most do not. Most people die without a will. If you have thoroughly searched your father's home an if he did not have a safety deposit box in which he might have put it, chances are good that he had no will.
Q. My mother was left a condo in her deceased husband's will 4 years ago. She has not changed the name from him to her.
A: If the Will was admitted to probate as a Muniment of Title, the Order admitting it should be filed in the deed records. If not, a Distribution Deed from the estate to the beneficiary should be recorded. Without one or the other of these, your mother has no legal authority to sell the property to you.
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Contact & Map
The Garrett Law Firm, PLLC
4408 Spicewood Springs Road
Austin, TX 78759
USA
Toll-Free: (800) 295-3449
Telephone: (512) 800-2420
Fax: (512) 870-9260