Probate a Will

Probate a Will in Texas

Dallas Probate Lawyer

Probate is the legal process of filing and validating a will in court. Once the will is proved to be valid, the estate can be administered independent of court supervision. Generally speaking administering an estate is the process of (1) collecting the decedent's assets, (2) paying the decedent's debts, and (3) distributing these assets to the beneficiaries listed in the decedent's will. This is typically completed by the executor named in the decedent's will without much court supervision (also known as independent administration). However in some circumstances, it is necessary or desirable to have court supervision. This would be referred to as a dependent administration.

Probating A Will With An Independent Administration

Texas statutes allow certain executors and administrators to serve independently of the Court’s supervision. In most cases, the executor would prefer to serve without the Court’s supervision as the cost of probate is substantially reduced (this is referred to as an “independent administration”).

What Allows The Administration To Be Independent?

Generally speaking the executor can serve independent of the Court’s supervision if the decedent’s will so states or if all of the heirs agree to an independent administration.

WHat Are The Benefits Of An Independent Administration?

The biggest reason is the cost. The executor is not required to post a bond in an independent administration. In a dependent administration, the executor (and his or her attorney) must also seek court approval for the executor’s every action. As you can imagine, the attorney’s fees in connection with dependent administration are substantially greater than in an independent administration.

Why Would A Dependent Administration Be Preferable?

An executor would prefer a dependent administration if he or she anticipates major disagreements among the heirs of the estate. If the Court approves each and every action the executor takes, the likelihood of litigation against the executor is greatly reduced.

Contact Us

Executors often require legal assistance with the probate process. If you are named an executor in a will or otherwise have questions about the probate process, contact our dallas probate lawyer today.