Important Terms to Know in Texas Probate
Probating wills in Texas falls under two categories: Independent Administration and Dependent Administration. It can become confusing trying to figure out which type of probate an estate falls into, if you are unfamiliar with Texas probate laws or Texas Wills & Probate Terms. These laws are governed by the Texas Estates Code.
Independent Administration in Texas Probate:
Most probate cases in Texas fall under Independent Administration. This process has either an administrator or executor who files an inventory with the Court of all assets and a list of people who owe money to the estate. After the inventory is filed, the executor or administrator can continue handling the estate without the approval of the judge.
Dependent Administration in Texas Probate:
Dependent Administration usually happens when there is a dispute between beneficiaries. This requires the Court to be much more involved in the handling of the Estate. The Court will appoint a dependent administrator to handle to estate, but the administrator must get approval from the judge for every step in the process. This can become costly for the estate to sort out any indifference’s.
Other Texas Wills & Probate Terms:
In order to simplify the Texas probate process, it is important to understand all of the terminology that will be used throughout the process. Below are a few very common Texas Wills & Probate Terms.
Will: A Legal document where a decedent has outlined how they would like their assets to be disbursed between their loved ones.
Decedent: The legal term for the person who has died and whose estate is in the probate process.
Estate: An estate consists of all the assets, including, but not limited to, cash, real estate, stocks and bonds, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, vehicles and personal belongings.
Executor/ Executrix: A valid will names a person to serve as the executor (male) or executrix (female) of the estate. This person will handle all the necessary processes to finalize the estate.
Administrator: A Court will name an administrator to carry out the duties of an executor when a person dies without a valid will or executor.
Beneficiaries: The loved ones named in the will by the decedent or determined by a Court, who will receive assets from the decedents estate.
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