My neighbor’s dog barks all the time. How can I get some peace and quiet?

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Q. The neighbor who lives behind our house has a German Shepherd barking at everything. He will bark at the birds, pedestrians, cars and trucks that pass by their homes. If something moves, the dog will bark at it. Every time I go out into my yard, the dog barks at me all the time. I tried talking to our neighbors and asked them to keep their dog inside the house, but they refused to do so. Is there anything I can do to achieve peace and quiet?

A. You should start by calling the police, your constable or sheriff, or your homeowners association (if you have one) to see if any of them can force your neighbor to stop their dog from barking. so much. However, a barking dog is usually not a priority for law enforcement, so don’t expect immediate results.

You should also consider hiring a lawyer to write a formal notice to your neighbor, or if that fails, to sue your neighbor claiming the dog is a nuisance. The purpose of your legal action would not be to recover damages. Instead, you would be asking for a court order that would require your neighbor to keep the dog inside.

And of course, as a last resort, you could move to another house. Just be sure to move to an area where barking dogs are dealt with by a homeowners association or local police department.

Q. My father passed away last year in Houston, and he had a will that named my brother as executor. The will gave all of my father’s property to his four children equally. Our brother gave us money from the estate last year, but I just heard that he sold my father’s house and kept all the proceeds for himself. And now he has stopped communicating with me and my other two siblings. What can the three of us do to get our share of the sale?

A. The three of you must hire a lawyer to force your brother to give each of you your fair share of the household’s proceeds, plus any other assets you may be entitled to receive.

A formal notice written to your brother by your lawyer may suffice, but if he does not want to hand over the money, then the three of you will have to file a complaint.

Q. My wife and I have three grown children, none of whom are married or have children. Our estate is worth approximately $ 12 million. Our financial advisor recently told us that we need a living trust to save estate taxes. Is she right?

A. Generally, any taxes that can be saved by a living trust can also be saved by having a properly written will.

If you meet with an estate planning lawyer, you will be able to determine if a living trust is right for you.

The information in this column is intended to provide a general understanding of the law, not legal advice. Readers with legal issues, including those whose questions are discussed here, should consult attorneys for advice on their particular situation. Ronald Lipman of the law firm of Houston Lipman & Associates is certified in estate planning and estate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Email your questions to [email protected]


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