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Texas Probate Code - Section 145. Independent Administration


Below is Texas Probate Code - Section 145 which provides the definition of an "Independent Administration" in Texas Probate courts:

145. INDEPENDENT ADMINISTRATION.  (a) Independent
administration of an estate may be created as provided in
Subsections (b) through (e) of this section.
    (b)  Any person capable of making a will may provide in his
will that no other action shall be had in the county court in
relation to the settlement of his estate than the probating and
recording of his will, and the return of an inventory,
appraisement, and list of claims of his estate.
    (c)  In situations where an executor is named in a decedent's
will, but the will does not provide for independent administration
of the decedent's estate as provided in Subsection (b) of this
section, 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 the executor named in the will to serve as
independent executor and request in the application that no other
action shall be had in the county 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 county court shall enter an order granting independent
administration and appointing the person, firm, or corporation
designated in the application as independent executor, unless the
county court finds that it would not be in the best interest of the
estate to do so.
    (d)  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 his 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 a qualified person, firm, or
corporation to serve as independent administrator and request in
the application that no other action shall be had in the county
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 county court shall enter an
order granting independent administration and appointing the
person, firm, or corporation designated in the application as
independent administrator, unless the county court finds that it
would not be in the best interest of the estate to do so.
    (e)  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 a qualified person, firm,
or corporation to serve as independent administrator and request in
the application that no other action shall be had in the county
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 county court shall enter an
order granting independent administration and appointing the
person, firm, or corporation designated in the application as
independent administrator, unless the county court finds that it
would not be in the best interest of the estate to do so.
    (f)  In those cases where an independent administration is
sought under the provisions of Subsections (c) through (e) above,
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.
    (g)  In no case shall any independent administrator be
appointed by any court to serve in any intestate administration
until those parties seeking the appointment of said independent
administrator offer clear and convincing evidence to the court that
they constitute all of the said decedent's heirs.
    (h)  When an independent administration has been created,
and the order appointing an independent executor has been entered
by the county court, and the inventory, appraisement, and list
aforesaid has been filed by the executor and approved by the county
court, as long as the estate is represented by an independent
executor, further action of any nature shall not be had in the
county court except where this Code specifically and explicitly
provides for some action in the county court.
    (i)  If a distributee described in Subsections (c) through
(e) of this section is an incapacitated person, the guardian of the
person of the distributee may sign the application on behalf of the
distributee.  If the county court finds that either the granting of
independent administration or the appointment of the person, firm,
or corporation designated in the application as independent
executor would not be in the best interests of the incapacitated
person, then, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in
Subsections (c) through (e) of this section, the county court shall
not enter an order granting independent administration of the
estate.  If such distributee who is an incapacitated person has no
guardian of the person, the county court may appoint a guardian ad
litem to make application on behalf of the incapacitated person if
the county court considers such an appointment necessary to protect
the interest of the distributees.
    (j)  If a trust is created in the decedent's will, the person
or class of persons 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
Subsections (c) and (d) of this section, be deemed to be the
distributee or distributees on behalf of such trust, and any other
trust or trusts coming into existence upon the termination of such
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 upon
the termination of such trust.
    (k)  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 Subsections (c) through (e) of
this section, be deemed 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.
    (l)  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
Subsections (c), (d), (h), and (i) of this section, 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.
    (m)  In the case of all decedents, whether dying testate or
intestate, for the purposes of determining who shall be the
distributees under Subsections (c), (d), (e), (h), and (i) of this
section, it shall be presumed that no distributee living at the time
the application for independent administration is filed shall
subsequently disclaim any portion of such distributee's interest in
the decedent's estate.
    (n)  If a distributee of a decedent's estate should die and
if by virtue of such distributee's death such distributee's share of
the decedent's estate shall become payable to such distributee's
estate, then the deceased distributee's personal representative
may sign the application for independent administration of the
decedent's estate under Subsections (c), (d), (e), (h), and (i) of
this section.
    (o)  Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this
section, a person capable of making a will may provide in his will
that no independent administration of his estate may be allowed.  In
such case, his estate, if administered, shall be administered and
settled under the direction of the county court as other estates are
required to be settled.
    (p)  If an independent administration of a decedent's estate
is created pursuant to Subsections (c), (d), or (e) of this section,
then, unless the county court shall waive 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 his or her
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.  This subsection does not repeal
any other section of this Code.
    (q)  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 or independent
administrator under Subsections (c), (d), and (e) of the section.  
Section 36 of this code does not apply to the appointment of an
independent executor or administrator under Subsection (c), (d), or
(e) of this section.
    (r)  A person who declines to serve or resigns as independent
executor or administrator 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.

Acts 1955, 54th Leg., p. 88, ch. 55, eff. Jan. 1, 1956.  Amended by
Acts 1957, 55th Leg., p. 53, ch. 31, 2(b);  Acts 1977, 65th
Leg., p. 1061, ch. 390, 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1977;  Acts 1979, 66th
Leg., p. 1750, ch. 713, 16, eff. Aug. 27, 1979;  Acts 1991, 72nd
Leg., ch. 895, 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1991;  Acts 1993, 73rd Leg.,
ch. 846, 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1993;  Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch.
1039, 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.


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