Learn How a Will is Probated in Texas

Robert Ray

Independent Executor

The form of probate most familiar to clients is the probate of the will with the appointment of an executor of will. What some refer to as an Executor will. This provides for probate of a will with full administration of the estate by the executor of the will, the person nominated by the Decedent as executor.

The majority of wills filed in Texas contain language similar to the following, “I appoint [Name] to be the Independent Executor of this will to serve without bond. My Independent Executor shall act independently of any court, and I direct that no action shall be had in the county or other probate court in relation to the settlement of my estate other than the probating and recording of this, my Last Will and Testament, and the return of an inventory, appraisement and list of claims of my estate. This language creates an independent administration of the Decedent’s estate pursuant to Tex. Est. Code §401.001 (formerly 145(b) of the TPC.) No specific language is required to make the administration independent. Any language is sufficient if it indicates that the estate administration is to be free of court supervision.

The purpose of an independent administration is to permit the executor to administer the estate and distribute its assets free of judicial supervision with a minimum of cost and delay.

Dependent Executor

If a will does not state that the executor is to be independent, then he will be a dependent executor. A dependent executor is not normally desirable because he must get court approval for everything that he does. This takes time and money. There are situations, however, where an executor might want to be a dependent rather than an independent executor. If there is a conflict among the decedent’s heirs, the executor can protect himself from problems by having a hearing and having the judge rule on everything that he does. This is not normally a problem and most people will want an independent executor.

Time Limits

When the judge signs the order admitting the will to probate, the statute of limitations start to run for those who oppose the will to challenge the will by filing a will contest. If a person is contesting the will, he must contest it within two years of the date the judge admits the will to probate. It is better practice to file a will contest before the hearing where the judge admits the will to probate. You can also file a will contest before someone else even files the will for probate.

With certain exceptions, a will has to be filed for probate within four years of the death of the testator. A will contest must be filed within two years of the date the will was admitted to probate. That is, two years from the date that the judge signed the order admitting the will to probate.

What is Probate in Texas

Another article explains What is Probate in Texas.

Your Privacy

We take your privacy very seriously. We are keenly aware of the trust you place in us and our responsibility to protect your privacy. We treat all information provided to us with care and discretion.

Robert Ray is Board Certified

Robert Ray is the Editor and owner of this site. Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law — Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

We handle cases throughout Texas. Our principal office is in Lantana, Texas (DFW area).

Robert Ray Texas Inheritance

Click here to email us or to go to the contact form if you want to contact us about a Texas inheritance dispute.


There are new cases all the time that clarify or change the law on inheritance disputes. Keep up-to-date by subscribing to our blog.



Recent Posts

Find Out What Types of Probate Are Available

Several types of probate are available when a person dies depending on whether they have a will or not. If the Decedent did have a Will: Probate of a Will and Appointment of an Independent or Dependent Executor. Probate of a Will and Appointment of an Independent or...

Probating a Lost Will?

A problem that comes up from time to time is the issue of a lost will. Lost wills are problems because there is a presumption that when a will cannot be found, the testator revoked the will by destroying it. One of the methods by which a will can be revoked is by...

Correcting a will or trust in Texas

The Probate Judge can correct or reform a will or trust if it is clear that "an error was caused by a scrivener's or draftsman's failure to embody the true agreement of the parties in a written instrument." So, the question always is - does the will or trust show the...

Learn About Filing Two Different Wills in Probate Court

The law requires that a proceeding contesting a will be filed within two years of the time that the will was admitted to probate. But what if someone has a newer, different will in their possession than the one admitted to probate? In that situation, it may be...

The Author

Robert Ray

Robert Ray handles inheritance disputes of all kinds. He takes cases throughout Texas.
© Copyright 2024 | All Rights Reserved.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This