Understanding the Difference between Dependent and Independent Estate Administration

In most cases, you have two options to handle your estate. You can choose either dependent or independent estate administration. However, do you know the difference between dependent and independent estate administration? If not, don’t worry – you aren’t the only one.

The entire probate process for your Texas estate depends on the option you choose, so it’s a good idea to get to know the difference between these types of estate administration. Keep reading to learn more about the difference between independent and dependent estate administration.

What Is Dependent Administration in Texas?

One of the first things you must learn is what is dependent administration in Texas? This is a good question. Dependent administration occurs if there happen to be disputes among the beneficiaries or heirs or if the probate process needs intervention from the court. It is usually a better option when it comes to managing estate finances, especially if the estate has large amounts of debt.

With dependent estate administration, it is possible for the beneficiaries of the estate to know when specific probate requirements have been handled by the executor.

Also, the dependent administrator of an estate in Texas will benefit from one or more types of protection. The main reason for this is that the court must approve all actions as they are done. The biggest downside of this option is that the cost of dependent administration is usually higher than the other probate methods that are available.

It’s necessary to get court approval for each transaction. This includes selling the assets and repaying all debts. On the other hand, the executor must have legal guidance from an attorney throughout the entire process because of the large number of legal documents and hearings that are typically involved in the process.

What Is Independent Administration in Texas?

You can opt for independent administration if the following factors are present:

  • A designated executor has been named in the will.
  • The heirs and beneficiaries all agree to the independent administration.

When it comes to independent administration, you may wonder – what is an independent administrator of an estate in Texas, and what is an independent executor in Texas? These are both good questions.

With independent administration, most of the aspects of the estate will be administered by the deceased person’s named personal representative. This is usually done when the probate process is started; however, it’s also possible for it to be handled at any point during this process.

The parties who have an interest in the estate have a legal right to refuse or object to the independent administration. If the court happens to grant the petition, then the probate proceedings will change, and any types of actions related to the estate (like the sale of the property) will be relinquished by the court and handled by the executor or administrator.

It’s possible for the court, in this situation, to award limited or full authority to the named personal representative of the estate. With full authority granted, it means that supervision from the court is not required at all unless there is an objection or if the attorney or personal representative for the estate is the principal when it comes to buying the estate’s property.

If court supervision is not provided, it is necessary for the estate’s personal representative to send a “Notice to Beneficiaries.” This must be given to all beneficiaries who are listed in the will. They have to inform all of these individuals or entities of the following:

  • The named administer or executor that is appointed by the court
  • The Attorney General, if the State of Texas has a claim on any part of the estate
  • A copy of the will that is admitted during the probate process
  • The date when the will was admitted to the court for probate.

Dependent vs. Independent Estate Administration

The biggest difference between dependent estate administration and independent estate administration is how much court supervision is required for each situation. While independent estate administration provides more freedom, it may not always be the best option.

Get in Touch with an Experienced Texas Probate Attorney for Help and Information

Whether you are dealing with an estate that is probated using independent administration or one that is proceeding under dependent administration, the duties that are expected of the executor can be overwhelming in some situations. This is especially the case if an estate is being monitored by the court. Because of this, the administrator is not going to have the ability to act autonomously, because the court first approves what is going to happen. Unfortunately, getting approval from the court on every move made can be challenging and time-consuming for everyone involved.

Our legal team has experience with all types of probate in Texas. With our years of experience handling probate issues in Texas, you can feel confident that our legal team is well-equipped to answer the questions you have about the process and what expectations are. The best thing you can do if you are in this situation is to reach out to our legal team. We can look into your situation and determine how to ensure the probate process moves along as smoothly as possible. For most people, this is the goal, as it helps to reduce the cost and amount of time required for the probate process. Being informed is the best way to figure out what type of probate is right for your situation.

Attorney Russell Amsberry

Attorney Russell J.G. Amsberry

Attorney Russell J.G. Amsberry founded the Amsberry Law Firm in 1995 with the goal of providing clients with exceptional, focused representation on their issues. His success as a legal advocate has been reflected in the numerous professional honors he has received, such as speaking engagements and inclusion in Scene in SA magazine’s listing of the best lawyers in San Antonio, a Distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubble, and an amazing rating from Avvo. [ Attorney Bio ]

The following two tabs change content below.

Amsberry Law Firm

The Amsberry Law Firm, founded in 1995, has helped thousands of clients overcome their unique legal challenges.

Latest posts by Amsberry Law Firm (see all)