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About Letters Testamentary in Texas

After a person passes away and leaves behind property to be administered, one of the first steps is for a personal representative to apply to the probate court for letters testamentary or letters of administration.

Why Letters are Needed

Letters testamentary or letters of administration give the personal representative the legal authority to administer the decedent’s probate estate. The letters provide proof of appointment and qualification of the personal representative of an estate and the date of qualification. Most banks and financial institutions require a copy of the letters before giving the personal representative information or access to the decedent’s account.

When Letters are Issued

An application has to be submitted to request letters testamentary and letters of administration. The clerk of the probate court then issues a citation to all interested persons of the estate. The citation is served by posting at the county courthouse. The citation must state:

  1. That the application has been filed,
  2. The nature of the application,
  3. The decedent’s name,
  4. The applicant’s name,
  5. The time when the court will act on the application, and
  6. That any person interested in the estate may  appear at the time stated in the citation to contest the application.

It should be noted that the probate court may not act on an application for the issuance of letters of administration until service of citation has been made.

Upon the court’s issuance of the letters, the personal representative takes his oath of office and posts bond, unless the decedent’s will waives the requirement for a bond.

Help with Letters Testamentary in Texas

We are Houston Probate Attorneys.  We help clients navigate the probate process, including obtaining letters testamentary.

Call today for a FREE confidential consultation, 281-219-9090.

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