ESTATES CODE CHAPTER 401. CREATION
	
					

ESTATES CODE


TITLE 2. ESTATES OF DECEDENTS; DURABLE POWERS OF ATTORNEY


SUBTITLE I. INDEPENDENT ADMINISTRATION


CHAPTER 401. CREATION


Sec. 401.001. EXPRESSION OF TESTATOR'S INTENT IN WILL. (a) Any person capable of making a will may provide in the person's will that no other action shall be had in the probate court in relation to the settlement of the person's estate than the probating and recording of the will and the return of any required inventory, appraisement, and list of claims of the person's estate.

(b) Any person capable of making a will may provide in the person's will that no independent administration of his or her estate may be allowed. In such case the person's estate, if administered, shall be administered and settled under the direction of the probate court as other estates are required to be settled and not as an independent administration.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1338 (S.B. 1198), Sec. 2.53, eff. January 1, 2014.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136 (H.B. 2912), Sec. 50, eff. January 1, 2014.

Sec. 401.002. CREATION IN TESTATE ESTATE BY AGREEMENT. (a) Except as provided in Section 401.001(b), if a decedent's will names an executor but the will does not provide for independent administration as provided in Section 401.001(a), all of the distributees of the decedent may agree on the advisability of having an independent administration and collectively designate in the application for probate of the decedent's will, or in one or more separate documents consenting to the application for probate of the decedent's will, the executor named in the will to serve as independent executor and request that no other action shall be had in the probate court in relation to the settlement of the decedent's estate other than the probating and recording of the decedent's will and the return of an inventory, appraisement, and list of claims of the decedent's estate. In such case the probate court shall enter an order granting independent administration and appointing the person, firm, or corporation designated by the distributees as independent executor, unless the court finds that it would not be in the best interest of the estate to do so.

(b) Except as provided in Section 401.001(b), in situations where no executor is named in the decedent's will, or in situations where each executor named in the will is deceased or is disqualified to serve as executor or indicates by affidavit filed with the application for administration of the decedent's estate the executor's inability or unwillingness to serve as executor, all of the distributees of the decedent may agree on the advisability of having an independent administration and collectively designate in the application for probate of the decedent's will, or in one or more separate documents consenting to the application for probate of the decedent's will, a qualified person, firm, or corporation to serve as independent administrator and request that no other action shall be had in the probate court in relation to the settlement of the decedent's estate other than the probating and recording of the decedent's will and the return of an inventory, appraisement, and list of claims of the decedent's estate. In such case the probate court shall enter an order granting independent administration and appointing the person, firm, or corporation designated by the distributees as independent administrator, unless the court finds that it would not be in the best interest of the estate to do so.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1338 (S.B. 1198), Sec. 2.53, eff. January 1, 2014.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 949 (S.B. 995), Sec. 40, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 401.003. CREATION IN INTESTATE ESTATE BY AGREEMENT. (a) All of the distributees of a decedent dying intestate may agree on the advisability of having an independent administration and collectively designate in the application for administration of the decedent's estate, or in one or more documents consenting to the application for administration of the decedent's estate, a qualified person, firm, or corporation to serve as independent administrator and request that no other action shall be had in the probate court in relation to the settlement of the decedent's estate other than the return of an inventory, appraisement, and list of claims of the decedent's estate. In such case the probate court shall enter an order granting independent administration and appointing the person, firm, or corporation designated by the distributees as independent administrator, unless the court finds that it would not be in the best interest of the estate to do so.

(b) The court may not appoint an independent administrator to serve in an intestate administration unless and until the parties seeking appointment of the independent administrator have been determined, through a proceeding to declare heirship under Chapter 202, to constitute all of the decedent's heirs.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1338 (S.B. 1198), Sec. 2.53, eff. January 1, 2014.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 949 (S.B. 995), Sec. 41, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 401.004. MEANS OF ESTABLISHING DISTRIBUTEE CONSENT. (a) This section applies to the creation of an independent administration under Section 401.002 or 401.003.

(b) All distributees shall be served with citation and notice of the application for independent administration unless the distributee waives the issuance or service of citation or enters an appearance in court.

(c) If a distributee is an incapacitated person, the guardian of the person of the distributee may consent to the creation of an independent administration on behalf of the distributee. If the probate court finds that either the granting of independent administration or the appointment of the person, firm, or corporation designated by the distributees as independent executor would not be in the best interest of the incapacitated person, then, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Section 401.002 or 401.003, the court may not enter an order granting independent administration of the estate. If a distributee who is an incapacitated person has no guardian of the person, the probate court may appoint a guardian ad litem to act on behalf of the incapacitated person if the court considers such an appointment necessary to protect the interest of the distributees. Alternatively, if the distributee who is an incapacitated person is a minor and has no guardian of the person, the natural guardian or guardians of the minor may consent on the minor's behalf if there is no conflict of interest between the minor and the natural guardian or guardians.

(d) If a trust is created in the decedent's will or if the decedent's will devises property to a trustee as described by Section 254.001, the person or class of persons entitled to receive property outright from the trust on the decedent's death and those first eligible to receive the income from the trust, when determined as if the trust were to be in existence on the date of the decedent's death, shall, for the purposes of Section 401.002, be considered to be the distributee or distributees on behalf of the trust, and any other trust or trusts coming into existence on the termination of the trust, and are authorized to apply for independent administration on behalf of the trusts without the consent or agreement of the trustee or any other beneficiary of the trust, or the trustee or any beneficiary of any other trust which may come into existence on the termination of the trust. If a trust beneficiary who is considered to be a distributee under this subsection is an incapacitated person, the trustee or cotrustee may file the application or give the consent, provided that the trustee or cotrustee is not the person proposed to serve as the independent executor.

(e) If a life estate is created either in the decedent's will or by law, the life tenant or life tenants, when determined as if the life estate were to commence on the date of the decedent's death, shall, for the purposes of Section 401.002 or 401.003, be considered to be the distributee or distributees on behalf of the entire estate created, and are authorized to apply for independent administration on behalf of the estate without the consent or approval of any remainderman.

(f) If a decedent's will contains a provision that a distributee must survive the decedent by a prescribed period of time in order to take under the decedent's will, then, for the purposes of determining who shall be the distributee under Section 401.002 and under Subsection (c), it shall be presumed that the distributees living at the time of the filing of the application for probate of the decedent's will survived the decedent by the prescribed period.

(g) In the case of all decedents, whether dying testate or intestate, for the purposes of determining who shall be the distributees under Section 401.002 or 401.003 and under Subsection (c), it shall be presumed that no distributee living at the time the application for independent administration is filed shall subsequently disclaim any portion of the distributee's interest in the decedent's estate.

(h) If a distributee of a decedent's estate dies and if by virtue of the distributee's death the distributee's share of the decedent's estate becomes payable to the distributee's estate, the deceased distributee's personal representative may consent to the independent administration of the decedent's estate under Section 401.002 or 401.003 and under Subsection (c).

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1338 (S.B. 1198), Sec. 2.53, eff. January 1, 2014.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136 (H.B. 2912), Sec. 51, eff. January 1, 2014.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 949 (S.B. 995), Sec. 42, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 401.005. BOND; WAIVER OF BOND. (a) If an independent administration of a decedent's estate is created under Section 401.002 or 401.003, then, unless the probate court waives bond on application for waiver, the independent executor shall be required to enter into bond payable to and to be approved by the judge and the judge's successors in a sum that is found by the judge to be adequate under all circumstances, or a bond with one surety in a sum that is found by the judge to be adequate under all circumstances, if the surety is an authorized corporate surety.

(b) This section does not repeal any other section of this title.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1338 (S.B. 1198), Sec. 2.53, eff. January 1, 2014.

Sec. 401.006. GRANTING POWER OF SALE BY AGREEMENT. In a situation in which a decedent does not have a will, or a decedent's will does not contain language authorizing the personal representative to sell property or contains language that is not sufficient to grant the representative that authority, the court may include in an order appointing an independent executor any general or specific authority regarding the power of the independent executor to sell property that may be consented to by the distributees who are to receive any interest in the property in the application for independent administration or for the appointment of an independent executor or in their consents to the independent administration or to the appointment of an independent executor. The independent executor, in such event, may sell the property under the authority granted in the court order without the further consent of those distributees.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1338 (S.B. 1198), Sec. 2.53, eff. January 1, 2014.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136 (H.B. 2912), Sec. 52, eff. January 1, 2014.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 949 (S.B. 995), Sec. 43, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 844 (H.B. 2271), Sec. 32, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 401.007. NO LIABILITY OF JUDGE. Absent proof of fraud or collusion on the part of a judge, no judge may be held civilly liable for the commission of misdeeds or the omission of any required act of any person, firm, or corporation designated as an independent executor under Section 401.002 or 401.003. Section 351.354 does not apply to the appointment of an independent executor under Section 401.002 or 401.003.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1338 (S.B. 1198), Sec. 2.53, eff. January 1, 2014.

Sec. 401.008. PERSON DECLINING TO SERVE. A person who declines to serve or resigns as independent executor of a decedent's estate may be appointed an executor or administrator of the estate if the estate will be administered and settled under the direction of the court.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1338 (S.B. 1198), Sec. 2.53, eff. January 1, 2014.