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Independent and Dependent Administration: Which Is Better for Your situation?

Posted by Chris Peterson | Jun 12, 2012

If your loved one's estate requires Texas probate, two different types of administration may be available: independent administration and dependent administration. Both offer some benefits and drawbacks. The main distinction is the amount of supervision exercised by the court over the personal representative (executor or administrator). Your Texas probate attorney can advise you about which type is possible and most appropriate for your situation.

Independent Administration

Most Texas estates are administered independently. An independent administration of an estate allows a personal representative to serve independently of the supervision of the probate court once he or she has filed the inventory of the estate's assets.

An independent administration can occur if the decedent included a provision in his or her will authorizing it. If the will does not provide for independent administration or the decedent died without a will, independent administration is possible only if all of the decedent's heirs or beneficiaries agree to it.

An independent administration is less expensive (sometimes by thousands of dollars), quicker, and more efficient than a dependent administration. However, independent administration may not be appropriate, even if authorized, if problems with creditors are likely or the beneficiaries are feuding over the estate.

Dependent Administration

In a dependent administration, the representative of the estate must obtain court approval for all actions. The services of a probate attorney will typically be necessary to assist the representative with requests for court approval. In addition, it is usually necessary for the representative to post a bond.

A dependent administration can be created for any probate regardless of whether the decedent died with or without a will, the will calls for independent administration, or the beneficiaries are will to agree to independent administration.

A dependent administration may be preferable if problems with creditors are expected or the beneficiaries are feuding. Court supervision can be burdensome and expensive. However, the court approved actions of a dependent administrator are insulated from attack by creditors and beneficiaries.

For help with the probate of your loved one's estate, contact the Texas probate lawyers at the Peterson Law Group. We understand that making decisions can be very difficult in the immediate aftermath of the death of a loved one. We want to help. We have handled a variety of complex probate matters. Call us at 979-703-7014 to schedule a consultation.

About the Author

Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is the owner of Peterson Law Group. He practices primarily in the areas of wills, trusts and estate planning; probate and trust administration; elder law; and business law. Chris is also the owner of Brazos 1031 Exchange Company.

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