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What are the rights of an independent administrator over an estate?

Pasadena, TX |

My father passed away over a year ago without a will and we, the 3 children, consented to have our uncle be the independent administrator over the estate. I was told we had to come to an agreement ( the 3 children and step mother) over the sale price of any shared property. He has sold several of the items without notifying us and waiting months to even pay us. The same uncle sold my brother his car and my brother never changed the title to his name. My uncle never filled out the form that's takes the responsibility off of him to say he sold the car. I'm not sure what its called. My brother was in a wreck with no insurance and the person he hit is suing my uncle. My uncle is now holding my brothers portion of his money. Is he legally allowed to withhold the money for his personal issues?

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Attorney answers 2


You and the other children need to consult with an experienced probate litigator in Harris County (if that is where the estate is pending). An Independent Administrator is given all of the powers of an Independent Executor under the Texas Probate Code. That would include the power to sell assets in order to pay claims against the estate. The exception is real estate. He cannot sell real estate with a court order. He can be forced to provide an accounting of all transactions and assets.

DISCLAIMER: This is not specific legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship.


Based on your description of what is going on, you need to consult with a local probate litigator to explore your circumstances in detail. Once you have consulted with a local attorney, you will have the necessary information to make an informed decision on how to move forward. If your uncle is not properly fulfilling his role as independent administrator, you can petition to have him removed and replaced. Good luck.

My response above is not legal advice and it does not establish an attoreny-client relationship. When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel. For more information, you can reach my office at:

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