Canidate Q&A: Clayton County Court of probate Judge

Clayton News sent out questions to the two candidates who are running for Clayton County Probate Court Judge. Betrice Donald Scott is difficult incumbent Pam Ferguson

1. What qualifies you for this position?

Pam Ferguson.

I have the training. I went to Clayton State College then I moved to the University of Georgia. I made my bachelor s degree in 1986 and my Juris Doctorate in 1989 and was confessed to the Georgia State Bar the same year. World best trademark lawyer can be found here.

I have the experience. I practiced 14 years with my daddy, Monroe Ferguson, prior to being chosen Clayton County Probate Judge in 2003. When I was a practicing attorney I dealt with several types of cases consisting of probate, guardianship, divorces, kid support, child custody, criminal and bankruptcy.

I have the determination necessary to serve the county well. I have actually acted as probate judge since 2003. I see my job as a calling instead of a title. I am here to serve and I guarantee that those parties that do not have the capacity to safeguard themselves are protected too.

I am amongst the first probate judges to earn a Probate Judge Certificate from the Carl Vinson Institute. I also serve on a number of committees with the Probate Judge’s Council including, the Mental Health Committee, the Bench Book Committee and the Rules and Forms Committee, which I chaired for 9 years.

Betrice Scott

I am a graduate of Emory University School of Law, which provided me the necessary legal training from among the leading law schools in the country. I likewise have a master’s of science and a bachelor s of science in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s of science in mathematics from Spelman College through the Atlanta University System Dual Degree Program.

w3I have actually proudly served the people of Clayton County for the past 10 years as a Magistrate Court judge and previously as an assistant lawyer (a district attorney in the State Court). I am understood as a fair and efficient judge who can work quickly to attain simply and suitable resolutions to cases and matters brought prior to me, traits that are essential for Probate Court judge. I have administered over many civil and criminal matters in one of the busiest Magistrate Courts in Georgia, including Family Violence and Stalking Protective Orders when sitting by classification as a Superior Court judge.

2. What are your leading two campaign problems you wish to resolve?

Pam Ferguson

In this program an experienced lawyer is readily available once a month to answer concerns related to probate matters. This service supplies the public with assistance in finishing petitions, as probate clerks are forbidden by law from providing legal advice.

The Visiting Friends Program is a pilot job that God put on my heart and I moved on with in 2009. Now it is being carried out by other probate judges across the state. The program matches a volunteer with an adult ward who has a guardianship case in Clayton County. A lot of these people have the Department of Human Services, a state firm, acting as their guardian. My biggest issue is for each of these people to get proper care, because many of these wards live in retirement home. This indicates they often do not have visitors besides those who work inside the facility. This program enables these people to get social interaction that they would not otherwise have.

Betrice Scott

The most considerable difficulty for the Probate Court is to become more efficient and client friendly. We must improve the amount of time that it takes to process routine matters in Probate Court consisting of estate matters, guardianship matters, and firearm authorizations. We must find a method to enhance the Mental Health Court to make sure that it serves Clayton County in the finest way possible.

3. What particular goals do you want to accomplish while serving in this position?

Pam Ferguson

I preparation to address the concern with moving the cases forward. We are in the process of renovating our court to allow a central consumption desk that will be more efficient. We are likewise in the process of carrying out a computer system that will allow a supervisor to track petitions as they are processed.

Judges gavel and law books stacked behind
Judges gavel and law books stacked behind

I also preside over the Clayton County Treatment Court, a mental health accountability court. This program began as a collaborative in 2009 and later the Probate Court obtained grant funds to start the procedure for the implementation of the plan which resulted in the Clayton County Treatment Court. This program is beneficial to the whole county because it guarantees that individuals with mental health concerns who have misdemeanor cases are matched with the services they need rather than hanging out, energy and county tax dollars on imprisonment. I plan to continue my deal with those with mental health concerns both locally and at the state level. I serve on the mental health committee of the Probate Judge’s Council. We have to do far more work in this location. Presently there are not adequate services in the neighborhood for those who require them.

I will also continue to work with the senior and other grownups who have guardianship cases. As a culture we are not doing a great task in this location and we have to enhance the quality of life for many of these individuals. I prepare to continue and broaden the Clayton County Visiting Friends program and also to continue to raise awareness in this area.

I also preparation to continue to inform the public about these and other court of probate matters.

Betrice Scott

My very first and most particular objective is to enhance performance and client service in all areas of the Probate Court. We, as an office, will work as a team to enhance operations, procedures and procedures so that the people of Clayton County can take pleasure in the quality client service that they are worthy of in the administration of estates, handling of guardianships, processing gun authorizations and managing the Mental Health Court. We want to raise the spirits of the employees operating in Probate Court by empowering them to do their tasks in a well-run office. We will seek to regain the capability to procedure important records which will be more convenient for our people and will provide earnings for our county.

COLUMN: Special to Texas: Probate as Muniment of Title

w6Probating a will by muniment of title is distinct to Texas law, hardly ever comprehended outside the state and often puzzled even by legal representatives who practice within Texas. It is necessary to figure out if a decedent’s estate can qualify for this procedure.

What is Muniment of Title?

Muniment of title improves the probate process by leaving out consultation of an administrator or administrator of the estate. The basic probation in Texas is more abbreviated than in the majority of states because of independent administration in which only one hearing before the probate or county judge is needed. The will is provided for probate and the court concerns an order selecting the independent executor. Afterwards, notification to lenders and filing an inventory and acquiring an order authorizing it are the just other court actions required.

Using muniment of title, probate is even more abbreviated than independent administration because the only court order needed is that recognizing the will as the decedent’s true last will and testament. Thereafter, a certified copy of the will and a copy of the order can be used to move title of the decedent’s property to those listed in the will

 w8Muniment of Title readily available just with a legitimate will.

Fundamental to use of muniment of title is the presence of a will. If the decedent died intestate (without having created a will) the estate will need to be administered through another probate process, such as heirship decision. A dependent administration might likewise be required.

Muniment of Title not offered with exceptional financial obligations

Probating a will by muniment of title is not readily available if a decedent has outstanding financial obligations, unless the debts are secured by real estate.

Muniment of Title typically not practical with specific bank and brokerage accounts

In theory, if there were no financial obligations, probating by muniment of title could act to move any property the decedent owned. Virtually speaking, however, muniment of title is most efficient when the estate consists exclusively of realty.

For example, a decedent s checking account, which do not have pay-on-death (POD) or right of survivorship (ROS) classifications, or brokerage accounts, which do not have beneficiary classifications, will enter into the estate. Because case, it is typically not a feasible option to implement the muniment of title treatment because the banks or brokerage houses, unfamiliar with the treatment special to Texas, will more than likely firmly insist upon administration.

Can Tom T. probate John T’s estate by Muniment of Title?

Tom T.’s dad, John T., passed away without a will. Tom had actually heard of a basic procedure for probate in Texas called muniment of title, which would be less expensive than routine probate. Tom’s dad s estate cannot be dealt with through muniment of title.

Can Jane D. go with Muniment of Title rather of independent administration?

The only property in Esther s estate is her home and an apartment in Galveston. When Jane s dad passed away, the attorney probated his will by muniment of title.

Muniment of title is not offered to Jane because her mother died with outstanding debt. Fortunately, since Esther named Jane as independent executor, Jane will be able to administer the estate with minimal intervention by the probate or county court.

Can Rosie R. use Muniment of Title?

w7Rosie R. is named administrator on her mother’s will. Mazie R. owed no financial obligations at the time of her death. She owned a number of rent houses and her own home. She also owns a ranch she had acquired from Rosie’s grandfather. Mazie’s bank accounts are POD accounts naming Rosie and her brother. The brokerage accounts and life insurance coverage policies all have beneficiary classifications calling Rosie and her bro.

Her mom s estate can be probated by muniment of title. After Rosie obtains an order from the court designating the will as valid, she can then file that order and a licensed copy of the will to move all the genuine estate to her and her brother.

Can Molly G. and her siblings probate by Muniment of Title?

Molly M. and her three bros are the beneficiaries of their daddy’s will. Martin M. died with a checking account and three CD accounts at a local bank. The accounts are single accounts with no one else called. He had a brokerage account with Edwards Jones with a recipient designation. His only other property is his home and the surrounding 200 acres. The children wish to probate utilizing muniment of title to save money.

The Edward Jones account transfers to Molly and her brother through the recipient classification. The bank, though regional, is likely associated with an organization outside Texas that will firmly insist upon an administration to move funds. Converting to an administration from muniment of title would be more, not less, expensive than at first opening an administration.

Sandra W. Reed is a lawyer with Katten & Benson, an Elder Law firm, whose primary office remains in Fort Worth, Texas. She lives and practices in Somervell County. If you have questions or concerns, please call her by e-mail at or by phone at 254.797.0211.

Author will vote for Boan for court of probate

Choose Boan for probate courtI am looking forward to voting for Leigh Powers Boan, with pleasure, on June 14. You can constantly count on Leigh to be there in support of household, pals and the community.

Leigh typically says, I want to be of service to the community. Leigh Powers Boan is a natural fit for probate judge. Leigh is a woman of deep faith, wisdom, nerve and conviction.

While I was positioning a Leigh Powers Boan for probate judge sign on my front lawn, a couple walking their pet dogs approached me. The gentleman stated, I was Leigh Powers biology instructor at Georgetown High. You tell her she has my vote!