Both sides are due in a Wharton probate court on Friday, when hearings on the suit begin to determine if Nikki has already benefited from her husband's death. Ellis said he has received confirmation the lawsuit was served, but has not yet gotten a response from Nikki Araguz or an attorney.
A judge, he said, has already granted an emergency restraining order to freeze any funds relating to Thomas Araguz's death and to prevent Nikki Araguz from removing any property from their house.
Ellis said he did not know exactly how much Nikki Araguz would stand to gain from her husband's death benefits, but given that he died in the line of duty, "they would be substantial."
And if anyone decided to file a wrongful death lawsuit relating to the July 4 fire, he said, "We're talking real money."
Laws regarding transgender marriage vary from state to state, with some allowing a person to live legally in the gender they feel is appropriate.
But Masen Davis, executive director of the San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center, said it was unfortunate that Araguz's family was questioning the sanctity of his marriage.
"This story just seems to represent such a tragedy for everyone involved," Davis said. "Unfortunately, this situation highlights many injustices faced by transgendered families in this country."