Probate & Administration of Estates in Texas

Probate Estate: Independent Administration

Many Texas wills can be dealt with by filing an Application to Probate Will and for Issuance of Letters Testamentary.  This route assumes you have a valid Will, which is explained in detail further down in this page.  Filing the Probate of a Will as an Independent Administration means several things to the Court, for example:

  • There is a valid Will being submitted with specific named beneficiaries or classes of beneficiaries, for example children or grandchildren.
  • The Will being submitted for Probate names an Independent Executor, the Will likely states that the Executor does not have to post a bond and will file an Inventory.
  • The Probate of a Will as an Independent Administration means the named Executor does not have to ask the court for permission to settle the Estate, for example the paying of secured/unsecured debts from Estate funds (as appropriate), the selling of estate property (if needed), and the distribution of  assets to the people named as beneficiaries in the Will.

Once the Will is accepted by the Court the independent executor is responsible for posting or publishing a notice to unknown creditors, sending notice to secured creditors (this is an option) and filing an inventory with the court detailing assets of the Estate, generally.  The assets in question must be collected, safeguarded, and if necessary, insured by the Executor prior to distribution to the named beneficiaries.  Any fees, costs, and expenditures are paid from Estate monies and NOT out of the Executor’s own funds.

Probate Estate: Dependent Administration

This manner of dealing with the Estate shares many of the same characteristics as an Independent Administration, however, the key features of a Dependent Administration revolve around the fact that either no Will was found, no Will was left by the Decedent, or the Heirs of the Estate do not agree as to who is named as the Executor or Personal Representative, which means that there is more court supervision of the process.