Texas Probate Form

Guide For Independent Administrators

Everything you need to know about Texas Form Guide For Independent Administrators, including helpful tips, fast facts & deadlines, how to fill it out, where to submit it and other related TX probate forms.

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About Guide For Independent Administrators

There are all sorts of forms executors, beneficiaries, and probate court clerks have to fill out and correspond with during probate and estate settlement, including affidavits, letters, petitions, summons, orders, and notices.

Guide For Independent Administrators is a commonly used form within Texas. Here’s an overview of what the form is and means, including a breakdown of the situations when (or why) you may need to use it:

Atticus Fast Facts About Guide For Independent Administrators

Sometimes it’s tough to find a quick summary— here’s the important details you should know about Guide For Independent Administrators:

  • This form pertains to the State of Texas

Government forms are not typically updated often, though when they are, it often happens rather quietly. While Atticus works hard to keep this information about Texas’s Form Guide For Independent Administrators up to date, certain details can change from time-to-time with little or no communication.

How to file Form Guide For Independent Administrators

Step 1 - Download the correct Texas form based on the name and ID if applicable

Double check that you have both the correct form name and the correct form ID. Some Texas probate forms can look remarkably similar, so it’s best to double, even triple-check that you’re using the right one! Keep in mind that not all States have a standardized Form ID system for their probate forms.

Step 2 - Complete the Document

Fill out all relevant fields in Form Guide For Independent Administrators, take a break, and then review. Probate and estate settlement processes in TX are long enough to begin with, and making a silly error can push your timeline even farther back. No thank you!

Note: If you don’t currently know all of the answers and are accessing Form Guide For Independent Administrators online, be sure to avoid closing the browser tab and potentially losing all your progress (or use a platform like Atticus to help avoid making mistakes).

Step 3 - Have Form witnessed or notarized (if required)

Some States and situations require particular forms to be notarized. If you have been instructed to get the document notarized or see it in writing on the document, then make sure to hire a local notary. There are max notary fees in the United States that are defined and set by local law. Take a look at our full guide to notary fees to make sure you aren’t overpaying or getting ripped off.

Step 4 - Submit Guide For Independent Administrators to the relevant office

This is most often the local probate court where the decedent (person who passed away) is domiciled (permanently resides) or the institution involved with this particular form (e.g. a bank). Some offices allow you to submit forms online, other’s don’t, and we while we generally recommend going in-person to expedite the process, sometimes that simply isn’t an option.

It’s also a generally good idea to establish a positive working relationship with any probate clerk (unfortunately there’s enough people & process out there making things more difficult and unnecessarily confusing for them), so a best practice is to simply ask the probate clerk proactively exactly how and where they’d prefer you to submit all forms.

Need help getting in touch with a local probate court or identifying a domicile probate jurisdiction?

👉 Find and Contact your Local Probate Court

👉 What is a Domicile Jurisdiction?

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When Guide For Independent Administrators is due

Different probate forms or processes can require different deadlines or response times for completing the appropriate form.

While some steps in the process are bound to specific deadlines (like petitioning for probate, having to submit an inventory of assets, or filing applicable notices to creditors and beneficiaries), many probate forms or processes are not tied to a specific deadline since the scope of work can vary based on situational factors or requirements involved.

Either way, there are a bunch of practical reasons why personal representatives should work to complete each step as thoroughly and quickly as possible when completing probate in Texas.

5 reasons you should submit this form as quickly as possible:

  1. The sooner you begin, the faster Texas can allow heirs and beneficiaries to get their share of assets subject to probate. Acting promptly can also decrease the costs & overall mental fatigue through an otherwise burdensome process.

    Helpful Context: What’s the Difference Between Probate and Non-Probate Assets?

  2. In general, creditors of an estate usually have around 3-6 months from the time you file notice to creditors to file any claims for debt against the deceased’s assets. If they don’t, then that debt is forfeited (and more importantly, the executor won’t be held personally responsible). So doing this sooner means you have a better idea of who is owed what and ensures you won’t get a surprise collector months later.

  3. Not filing a will within 30 days (on average) could mean that the probate process proceeds according to intestate laws (laws that govern what happens to someone's stuff without a will) or is subject to unnecessary supervision by the probate court. And if you aren't directly related to the deceased (a.k.a. next of kin), this could also mean you lose your inheritance.

  4. It’s important to file any necessary state tax returns on behalf of the deceased or estate by the following tax season in Texas. If you don’t, you could owe penalties and interest. This also includes any necessary federal tax returns such as Forms 1040, 1041, or even a Form 706 estate tax return.

  5. If a house in the State of Texas is left empty (or abandoned) for a while, insurance can get dicey. For example, if the house burns down and no one has been there for a year, an insurance company may get out of paying your claim.

If you’re not using Atticus to get specific forms, deadlines, and timelines for Texas probate, then try and stay as organized as possible, pay close attention to the dates mentioned in any correspondence you have with the State’s government officials, call the local Texas probate clerk or court for exact answers regarding Form Guide For Independent Administrators, and when in doubt— consult a qualified trust & estates lawyer for that area.

How to Download, Open, and Edit this form Online

Guide For Independent Administrators is one of the many probate court forms available for download through Atticus.

It may also be available through some Texas probate court sites, such as . In order to access the latest version, be updated with any revisions, and get full instructions on how to complete each form, check out the Atticus Probate & Estate Settlement software or consider hiring a qualified legal expert locally within Texas.

While Atticus automatically provides the latest forms, be sure to choose the correct version of Form Guide For Independent Administrators f using any other site or resource in order to avoid having to re-complete the form process and/or make another trip to the Texas probate court office.

Guide For Independent Administrators is a .pdf, so opening it should be as simple as clicking “View Form” from within the Atticus app or by clicking the appropriate link found on any Texas-provided government platform. Once you’ve opened the form, you should be able to directly edit the form before saving or printing.

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Did you know?

  • Form Guide For Independent Administrators is a probate form in Texas.

  • Texas has multiple types of probate and the necessary forms depend on the unique aspects of each estate, such as type and value of assets, whether there was a valid will, who is serving as the personal representative or executor, and even whether or not they also live in Texas.

  • During probate, all personal representatives and executives in are required to submit a detailed inventory of assets that must separate non-probate assets from probate assets.

  • Probate in Texas, especially without guidance, can take years to finish and cost upwards of $14,000.

Frequently Asked Questions about Guide For Independent Administrators

Probate is the government’s way of making sure that when a person dies, the right stuff goes to the right people (including the taxes the government wants).

All of that stuff is collectively known as someone’s “estate”, and it’s the job of the executor or personal representative to fill out all the forms and complete all the required steps to formally dissolve the estate. 

To get instant clarity on the entire probate process and get an idea of the steps, timeline, and best practices, read the Atticus Beginner’s Guide to Probate

The best place? Create an account in Atticus to start getting estate-specific advice. 

You may need a lawyer, you may not, and paying for one when you didn’t need it really hurts. Atticus makes sure you make  the best decisions (plus you can write it off as an executor expense).

We’ve also created a list of other probate services. Be sure to check it out!

An executor is named in someone’s will, and if the deceased didn’t have a will, then the spouse or other close family relative usually steps up to fulfill the role. If no one wants to do it, then a judge will appoint someone. 

The executor is responsible for the complete management of the probate process, including major responsibilities such as:

  • Creating an inventory of all probate assets.

  • Filling out all necessary forms

  • Paying off all estate debts and taxes

  • Submitting reports to the court and beneficiaries as requested

And much more. This process often stretches longer than a year. 

For an idea of what separates executors who succeed from those who make this way harder than it should be, visit our article, Executors of an Estate:
What they do & secrets to succeeding
.

The Exact Text on Form Guide For Independent Administrators

Here’s the text, verbatim, that is found on Texas Form Guide For Independent Administrators. You can use this to get an idea of the context of the form and what type of information is needed.

Guide for the Texas Independent Administrator, revised 09.01.2017 Page 1 of 3 FOR: __________________________________________________ _____________ A Guide for the Texas Independent Administrator CAUSE NO. ________________________________ Introduction: This Court has appointed you to a position of great trust and confidence. It is a position that carries with it a considerable amount of responsibility. Your duties are not easy; however, you will find them less difficult if you are careful to heed the advice of your attorney. You should contact your attorney at any time you have questions concerning the handling of this estate. You should never attempt to handle the affairs of this estate without the guidance of your attorney. The following guide has been prepared as a supplement to the information given to you by your attorney. It is only a supplement and not a substitute for his or her advice. Administration: The administration of an estate involves (1) gathering the assets of the person who died, (2) paying his or her debts, and (3) distributing the remaining assets to those entitled to them under the terms of the order declaring heirship. Your Qualification: You have been appointed to act on behalf of this estate. However, you are not qualified to act for this estate until you have taken and filed the oath of office and filed any required bond. Your oath, if not taken at the hearing, should be taken no later than 20 days from the date the Court signed the order appointing you as Independent Administrator. Generally, a bond is not required for an Independent Administrator. (A bond is an insurance policy that insures you Guide for the Texas Independent Administrator, revised 09.01.2017 Page 2 of 3 meet your responsibilities under the Will and the Estates Code.) In the event a bond is required, the Court must approve the bond no later than 20 days from the date of the order appointing you. Your bond, if required, will have to be executed by an authorized corporate surety, and the amount of the bond will be that specified in the order making the appointment. Letters of Administration: You may order your letters of administration after you have taken and filed the oath and have had your bond approved, if a bond is required. These letters will serve as the evidence of your appointment when dealing with third persons concerning the affairs of the estate. These letters may be ordered from the Probate Clerk's Office with jurisdiction in the county where the estate is located. Notice to Creditors of the Estate: Within 30 days after you have qualified (taken and filed the oath and given any required bond), you must publish your notice to creditors in a newspaper of general circulation in this county, advising all creditors of your appointment. Within two months after your qualification, you must mail a registered or certified letter, return receipt requested, to each secured creditor of the estate. A secured creditor is one who holds a claim secured by a deed of trust, a mortgage, or some other lien upon property. You must file proof of the above two notices with the clerk’s office. Although the Texas Estates Code does not require that you send notice to any other type of creditor, you may want to do so; your attorney should advise you accordingly. Inventory or Affidavit in Lieu of Inventory: Within 90 days after your qualification, you must submit to the Court either a complete inventory of the estate or – if allowable – an affidavit in lieu of inventory. You, your attorney, and any co-administrator must all sign the inventory or the affidavit, and the attorney must include a signature block with his or her State Bar number and email address. If you file an inventory, the inventory must be a complete inventory of the estate, with an attached list of claims owing to the estate (but not debts owed by the estate). The inventory must contain a list of all the real estate located within the State of Texas and a list of all personal property, regardless of where that property is located. In compiling the inventory, you must distinguish between separate and community property belonging to the estate. Your attorney will advise you as to the legal meaning of these two property classifications. The inventory must be verified by a sworn affidavit. If the order appointing you requires appraisers for the estate, then the appraisers must also sign a sworn affidavit to be attached to the inventory. If at any time during the pendency of this estate you discover additional property, you must file a supplemental inventory reflecting the newly acquired assets. You may file an affidavit in lieu of an inventory instead of an inventory only if there are no unpaid debts, except for secured debts, taxes, and administration expenses, at the time the inventory is due, including any extensions. If you are eligible to file an affidavit in lieu of inventory and choose to do so, the affidavit must: •State that all debts, except for secured debts, taxes, and administration expenses, are paid. Guide for the Texas Independent Administrator, revised 09.01.2017 Page 3 of 3 •State that all beneficiaries have received a verified, full, and detailed inventory – as described above. •Be filed with the clerk within the prescribed time. If you file an affidavit in lieu of inventory in the estate of a decedent who died on or after September 1, 2017, note that a court can fine an independent executor up to $1,000 if the court finds the executor misrepresented in an affidavit in lieu of inventory that beneficiaries received a verified, full, and detailed inventory and appraisement as required by the Estates Code. The independent executor could also be liable for damages and costs sustained by the executor’s misrepresentation. Your Powers and Duties: Upon qualification, it is your duty to take possession of all property belonging to the decedent. Any cash that you receive should be maintained in a bank account separate from your personal funds. You should never co-mingle property belonging to the estate with your personal assets. You must use ordinary diligence in the collection of all claims and debts owed to the estate. If necessary, you may employ an attorney to recover property belonging to the decedent. Your powers to administer the estate are set out in the Texas Estates Code. Generally, all powers afforded to a dependent administrator under the Texas Estates Code are also available to an Independent Administrator without the necessity of court approval, including the sale of real estate under Estates Code Section 356.251 et seq. This Court will not ratify or approve an Independent Administrator’s actions. Claims: Claims of creditors against the estate may be presented to you at any time while the estate remains open. You may allow any claim you believe to be a just debt of the estate that is properly presented to you and authenticated, provided such claim is not barred by an applicable statute of limitation. Once a claim is presented to you, you should either allow or disallow it. If you reject a claim, the creditor will have to file suit to secure payment of the claim. Closing the Estate: You are ready to close the estate after (1) you have gathered the assets of the estate, (2) the inventory has been approved, and (3) you have paid the debts and taxes. You should begin the procedure to close the estate only upon the advice of your attorney. You may then deliver the assets of the estate to the heirs who are entitled to receive the property as dictated by the order declaring heirship. This distribution will conclude your responsibility as the Independent Administrator of this estate.

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