Dependent administration provides a high degree of protection to the assets in an estate. This does not come without a cost, however. The use of a dependent administrator can significantly prolong the dissolution/distribution of the estate, and lead to higher costs due to court and other fees. A Texas probate attorney will work with you to determine whether to set up your will for independent administration or leave it to probate court to designate a dependent administrator.
What Is A Dependent Administrator?
Probating a will in Texas requires an administrator, whether he be independent or dependent. An independent administrator is usually named in the will, and oversees the management and distribution of an estate that is relatively free of dispute. The independent administrator is given latitude in making decisions without receiving permission from the court.
A dependent administrator functions to oversee the estate as well, but must receive approval from the court continually for whatever significant matters arise. The court appoints the dependent administrator. A Texas probate attorney will help you if it is your decision to pursue taking on this role.
Matters for which Dependent Administrators Must Have Permission
A dependent administrator is just as his title suggests—dependent upon the court to approve most decisions he makes in managing the estate. Among those matters for which such approval must be given are:
- Sale of real estate
- Sale of personal property
- Sale of assets
- Paying off debts owed by the estate
- Paying expenses and fees owed to the administrator
In addition to the above, a dependent administrator must provide a yearly accounting of the entire estate. This includes whatever sale of assets was made, interest earned by the estate and fees paid. A further such accounting must be provided when probate ends. A dependent administrators must also obtain a bond which provides that added protection to the estate.