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When can I ask exectrux for accounting under texas probate law and how much detail can I request

Vernon, TX |

I am one of legal heirs listed in will which is currently accepted by Texas court for probate..executrix has asked I send all questions to lawyer representing her but he doesn't answer questions or even acknowledge receipt of question..is there a wait period before executrix must respond to my request for accounting? Do I file this with probate court or can I send the request directly to the I E? Estate involves homestead property which has been in estate for generations but I E now wants to sell but won't disclose details...can I include accounting request to cover details of sales transactions that may involve mineral and wind rights, etc that have value greater than currrent appraised (tax roll) value?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

In Texas, the executrix is required to send a notice to the beneficiaries named in the Will with copy certain documents within 60 days of the Will being admitted to probate, file an Inventory of estate assets with the court within 90 days, and file an accounting within 14 months of qualifying as executrix.

The executrix is not required to supply a copy of the Inventory or Accounting to the beneficiaries, but they are public record. If she is an INDEPENDENT executrix and depending on what the Will says, the executrix may have a lot of discretion to determine how to value the assets and what to do with them (i.e. sell property and distribute cash versus distribute property itself). If she is a DEPENDENT executrix, the court will have a lot more oversight throughout the process.

If you suspect the executrix is mismanaging the estate in any way, you should contact a probate attorney immediately.

The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Use of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

the concern is whether the Independent Executrix can sell assests that may have tax roll value (as declared) but have actual value far higher due to mineral rights, wind rights and similar, more intangable valuations. If rights are sold is there recourse availabe for listed legal heirs?

Amber Nelson Ramsey

Amber Nelson Ramsey

Posted

An attorney may have an easier time getting information out of the executrix's attorney and possibly influencing the decision-making process. Assuming the executrix has the authority to sell real property (it depends on the reason for the sale and the language in the Will), you may be able to seek a declaratory action regarding the value before the sale or sue for mismanaging the estate after the sale. You need to speak with a probate attorney in your area regarding your options.

Asker

Posted

thank you Ms. Nelson

Posted

In addition to what the previous attorney answered, 15 months after the Executor or Executrix has been appointed, you may file an action to compel an accounting and distribution in the probate court. If you think something is wrong, you need to hire your own counsel and seek immediate redress in probate court.

Hope this helps. If you think this post was helpful, please check the asnwer was a good answer tab below. Thanks. Mr. Geffen is licensed to practice law throughout the state of Texas with an office in Dallas. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States and is licensed to practice in US Tax Court as well as The Court of Claims. This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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I agree, after 15 months under Texas Probate Law, you can demand an accounting. After two years you can petition the Court for an accounting and distribution. Yes, you would file this action in Probate Court, or if your area is not large enough to have a separate Probate Court, you would file your petition in the civil court having jurisdiction in your area. You deserve to have your concerns addressed by a court of law.
If there is misconduct by the executrix in the handling of the estate, you can petition the Court to have her removed for her conduct. If possible, it would be best for you to retain an attorney to protect your rights and act as your advocate. You are entitled to receive the benefit of your bequest.

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Pursuant to 149A of texas probate code you can ask:
(a) Interested Person May Demand Accounting. At any time after the expiration of fifteen months from the date that an independent administration was created and the order appointing an independent executor was entered by the county court, any person interested in the estate may demand an accounting from the independent executor. The independent executor shall thereupon furnish to the person or persons making the demand an exhibit in writing, sworn and subscribed by the independent executor, setting forth in detail:

1. The property belonging to the estate which has come into his hands as executor.

2. The disposition that has been made of such property.

3. The debts that have been paid.

4. The debts and expenses, if any, still owing by the estate.

5. The property of the estate, if any, still remaining in his hands.

6. Such other facts as may be necessary to a full and definite understanding of the exact condition of the estate.

7. Such facts, if any, that show why the administration should not be closed and the estate distributed.

Any other interested person shall, upon demand, be entitled to a copy of any exhibit or accounting that has been made by an independent executor in compliance with this section.

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