Probating a Will

Who Can Apply for Probate in Texas?

by Rania Combs

Usually, a person a testator nominates as executor in a Will applies for probate, but not always. The Texas Estates Code provides that any interested person can file an application for probate.

Who is an Interested Person?

The Texas Estates code defines an “interested person” as:

  • an heir, devisee, spouse, creditor, or any other having a property right in or claim against the estate; and
  • anyone interested in the welfare of an incapacitated person, including a minor.

Does the Person Who Applies for Probate Serve as Executor?

The person applying for probate will not automatically be entitled to serve as Executor or Administrator of the estate. Rather, the Court will appoint the person named as Executor in the Will, if one exists. If that person is unable or unwilling to serve as Executor, the Court will appoint someone in the following order of priority:

  1. The surviving spouse;
  2. The principal beneficiary of the estate;
  3. Any beneficiary of the estate;
  4. The next of kin of the deceased, the nearest in order of descent first, and so on;
  5. A creditor of the deceased;
  6. Any person of good character residing in the county who applies; and
  7. Any other person not disqualified to serve as the personal representative of the Estate.

When more than one person is eligible to serve as an executor, the Court can appoint the person who it believes will do the best job. In the alternative, it can appoint more than one person to serve as Co-Executors of an estate.

About Rania

Rania graduated magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law Houston and is the founder of Rania Combs Law, PLLC. She has been licensed to practice law since 1994 and enjoys helping clients in Texas and North Carolina create estate plans that give them peace of mind.

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