Learn about the types of probate in Texas

Published by Robert A. Ray

Contesting a will in Texas
– Robert Ray

Three Most Common Types of Probate in Texas

  1. Independent Administration.
  2. Dependent Administration.
  3. Muniment of Title.

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Independent Administration

Texas has one of the easiest and least expensive probate compared to other states. When you have a will that properly names an independent executor, the only steps involving the court system are:

  1. File the will for probate.
  2. Go to a short hearing shortly after the will has been filed.
  3. File an inventory and list of claims of the estate within 90 days of the hearing.

That’s it! Only one short court hearing and you are done. From that point on, the independent executor can perform all of the task needed to gather all the property and transfer it to the beneficiaries.

Dependent Administration

If there is no will or if the will does not properly name an independent executor, then it is more difficult and more expensive for the parties. That’s because:

  1. You file the will for probate.
  2. There is a hearing shortly thereafter where the judge will appoint a dependent administrator.
  3. After the hearing, everything that the dependent administrator does requires that papers be filed in court asking the judge to permit whatever it is that the dependent administrator is asking to do, a hearing is set, and at the hearing, the judge signs an order permitting the administrator to do what he asked to do. Whew! So much time and expense.

It is best to avoid a dependent administration except where it is absolutely necessary. There are cases where there is no will or the will does not properly name an independent executor where you can ask the judge to appoint someone as an independent administrator. The independent administrator can then act like an independent executor with less cost and time involved. The judge may or may not do this based on any disputes about the estate.

Muniment of Title

A muniment of title is a quick way to transfer title to the beneficiaries where no administration is needed. There has to be a will and there can be no debts owed by the estate except a debt on real estate. 

  1. The will is filed for probate.
  2. A hearing will be held shortly thereafter.
  3. The judge will admit the will to probate as a muniment of title.

The order admitting the will to probate as a muniment of title can then be used as proof of ownership of the estate by the beneficiaries.


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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).
Contesting a will in Texas

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