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Probate is the procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid.  During the process, an administrator approved by the court, will collect the deceased person’s assets, and debts.  The administrator will pay the debts and distribute the remaining assets to the heirs or beneficiaries.

To get the process started, the attorney will file documents with the court to apply for estate administration and letters testamentary or for one of the more simple processes that are allowed for small estates in Texas.

If the will specified that an administrator serve without supervision, an “independent administrator” will be appointed by the court.  An independent administrator settles the affairs of the estate with minimal court supervision.  If an independent administrator was not specified in the will, the court will appoint a “dependent administrator” to settle the affairs of the estate.  The decisions and actions of a dependent administrator will be supervised by the court.

In Texas, if it has been less than 4 years since the person has died, and there are no debts owed by the estate (except those secured by an interest in real property, like a mortgage), then the will may qualify to be probated as a “Muniment of Title”. Title to real property and even vehicles may be transferred without an administration.  This is a much simpler process.

The ‘estate administrator’ is a position of important responsibility and there are mandated qualifications for serving in this role.  Our firm pre-qualifies the administrator and assists clients in deciding the best process for handling the decedent’s estate.  We provide specific instructions for the administrator and assist him or her throughout the process.


Lucy Hicks Anderson, PLLC assists clients all over the world with legal matters originating in Texas, including Estate Planning, Elder Law and Real Estate matters.

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| Phone: 281-529-5482

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