Continuing this three-part blog series, we will discuss what is necessary to probate your will in Texas. After the probate court establishes the authenticity of the decedent’s will or validity, you will have to administer the will. In Texas, the estate administration occurs after a court approves the decedent’s appointed executor. If the decedent’s will failed to appoint an executor, or if the executor is unable or unwilling to serve, the probate court must appoint a personal representative to administer his or her estate. Estate administration begins with the initial probating of the decedent’s will and ends with the final distributions and payment of debts and estate taxes, if applicable.
Under Texas law, an executor or administrator may be able to administer a will by independent administration. With an independent administration, you can administer the decedent’s will free of court supervision. This means that you will be able to settle debts with creditors and distribute property to heirs without a court’s supervision or with very little supervision. A decedent can allow you to administer his or her will independently by inserting a clause into his will, which states that you can serve without posting a bond. If the decedent’s will contains the independent administration clause, after the initial probate process and inventorying the will, there is little or no other supervision from the local probate court.