Does the Texas Probate Process Require an Inventory?
If you’re a beneficiary of a will or you’re the executor of an estate, you may be wondering if an inventory is required as part of the Texas probate process. Attorney Philip Hundl answers that question in this article. If you have questions about probate or you’d like the assistance of an experienced probate attorney to help you, please call our office at 800-929-1725. We have offices in Wharton and El Campo in Wharton County and Richmond in Fort Bend County.
Question: I am a beneficiary of my father’s estate and I am waiting for the executor to file an inventory. Is an executor still required to file an inventory after the will is probated and, if so, how long after will is probated.
Answer by Attorney Philip Hundl: Several years ago the Texas Probate Code, now known as the Estates Code, was revised to allow an independent executor of an estate to file an affidavit in lieu of an inventory, appraisement and list of claims. This is if there are no unpaid debts, except for secured debts, taxes, and administration expenses, at the time the inventory is due (typically 90 days after the will is probated.). The executor may file the affidavit and state that all debts, except for secured debts, taxes, and administration expenses, are paid and that all beneficiaries have received a verified, full, and detailed inventory. Before the change in the law, an executor was required to file an inventory, appraisement and list of claims within 90 days of the issuance of letters testamentary to the executor, unless an extension by the Court was granted.
If the independent executor files an affidavit in lieu of filing an inventory, any person interested in the estate is entitled to receive a copy of the inventory, appraisement, and list of claims from the executor upon written request. In addition to filing the affidavit, the executor must notify and provide the beneficiaries of the estate with a copy of the probated will and order probating the will.
So, if you are a beneficiary of your father’s estate, you should receive a copy of the inventory (even though it is not filed in the Texas probate case.)
Philip J. Hundl is managing partner and a shareholder at the law firm of Wadler, Perches, Hundl & Kerlick with offices in Wharton (main office), El Campo and Richmond, Texas, and is a member and director of the Texasgulf Federal Credit Union.