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  1. Over the past five years, I have typed and edited ten books for an author that were self-published and sold on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book Kindle formats. The author did not use computers so the books were created by an exchange of printed pages between us through the mail. Once finalized, I would reformat the book, using Microsoft Word, into the correct specifications for publication on Amazon and would submit the books for listing and sales. I was paid a fee for each book. I kept the books in digital format on my computer. Recently, the author has requested me to send him the books in digital format. My question is, who owns the digital copies of these books, the author or me? And should I request compensation for providing these copies to him?
  2. During jury selection, is a person who works as a legal transcriptionist more likely or less likely to be chosen to sit on a jury, generally speaking?
  3. Biologically, this person is my daughter, my brother's niece. Since she was adopted by my mother, her biological grandmother, does that make her a full-fledged sibling to my brother and I, and essentially make us sisters? And if so, does that place her at the same level of asset distribution as myself?
  4. We need help establishing where one of us falls in the line of succession in Texas. My brother died intestate. He is survived by our mother, myself, and my biological daughter who was adopted by my mother, so she is biologically my brother's niece but is legally my mother's other daughter. According to Texas law, my brother's assets will go half to my mother and one-quarter to my "sister" and I. I challenge her right to call herself my brother's sister.
  5. Background: My brother left home many years ago to escape an abusive stepfather, and we never heard from him again. Fast Forward: Stepfather passes away, mother is now elderly, and sister (myself) has spent 25 years searching for her long-lost brother. Miracle: Two months ago, we found my brother alive and well and also living in Texas. We had a joyful reunion when he joined us for my mother's 80th birthday. When asked why he didn't stay in touch, he explained that he didn't want to deal with our stepfather and just assumed that mom and I would eventually forget all about him. He was thrilled to learn that we had been searching for him and surprised that our mother was even still alive. Tragedy: Two weeks after our reunion, my brother died from a brain aneurysm. After our initial shock and grief began to subside, mom and I began the process of wrapping up his affairs and so forth. We've got an attorney assisting us with gaining access to his bank accounts so that we can pay off his debts. Question: We learned from his employer that he had life insurance and a sizable 401K account, each worth approximately $40,000. Upon meeting with the benefits people, we learned that he had designated a national charity as beneficiary for both accounts, which he was required to reaffirm annually. We are certain that he would have changed his beneficiary designations to our mother's name. There was just no time to do so before he died. The only evidence we have is hearsay from his former coworkers that he was thrilled to be reunited with his family. We feel that we should make a claim as his rightful heirs and should receive those funds. We'd appreciate some opinions from you in this matter. Thank you so much.
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