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Temporary Estate Administration 

Options in Probate: The Temporary Administration 

I often find myself telling clients that where there is a Will, there is a family. And unfortunately, grief can bring out the worst in a person. When a loved one passes away, this grief occasionally leads to a dispute amongst the family members of the deceased in the form of a Will contest or disagreement among the beneficiaries or family members about who should be appointed as an executor or administrator.

Likewise, when people pass away, it is often a sudden and unexpected event. When this occurs, the last thing people probably think about is opening probate. However, when you realize you can’t continue to run the business of the decedent or access their bank account to take care of financial obligations, many people quickly learn it is not always so easy in Texas as providing the bank a death certificate.

Whatever the issue, whether it is a family divided about who should take the lead on administering the estate, or a family who just needs legal authority to take care of the deceased’s estate, it requires immediate attention. When this happens, a temporary administration is required. If you have found yourself in a situation where immediate action is required to protect your loved one’s property in Georgetown, Houston, Lubbock, or Sugar Land, contact probate attorney Lindsey Craft to discuss a temporary administration.

What is temporary administration?

Under Texas law, when a judge determines that the interest of a decedent’s estate requires the immediate appointment of a personal representative the Judge shall appoint, by written order, a temporary administrator with powers limited as the circumstances of the case require. The appointment of a temporary administrator gives someone the right to act in the interim until a permanent executor or administrator can be appointed.

Who can file a temporary administration?

Under Texas law, any interested person may file an Application for Temporary Administration of an Estate. In Texas, an interested person can be any of the following:

  1. Heir

  2. Devisee

  3. Spouse

  4. Creditor

  5. Any other person or entity having a property right in or claim against an estate being administered

What power does a temporary administrator have?

In Texas, a temporary administrator may exercise only the rights and powers that are specifically stated in the order of the court appointing the temporary administrator or in subsequent court orders in the temporary probate administration matter. Any act by the temporary administrator beyond the order granting temporary administration is void. Simply stated, a temporary administrator only has the rights and powers that the court gives him or her.

How long does a temporary administration last?

The temporary administration may last to the latter of 180 day or when a permanent administrator or executor is named by the court, whichever comes first.

In cases where the heirs or beneficiaries are contesting the Will or appointment of an administrator or executor, the temporary administration will last until there is an outcome to the Will contest and a permanent administrator or executor is named by the court.

What can a Probate Attorney do?

A temporary administrator is generally an option when there is no other way to handle the affairs of an estate until a permanent administrator or executor can be named. A knowledgeable probate attorney can meet with you to discuss the facts in your case and advise on alternatives, if any, that are available to protect your loved one’s property. If there are no alternatives to a temporary administration, a probate attorney can help you through the probate process by preparing the necessary court documents and advising on the timeline and deadlines you need to meet during the temporary administration.  


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