Order of No Administration in Texas
The “order of no administration” is one of the alternatives to a full probate in Texas. It can provide an effective means to probate estates without going through all of the steps for a full probate.
When is An Order of No Administration Used?
The “order of no administration” is used when the funeral and last expenses and the family allowance would deplete the probate estate. Texas law recognizes that it is not necessary to have a full probate in this circumstance.
As such, the order of no administration is used when the total value of the decedent’s estate (less the value of the homestead and exempt property) is less than the family allowance. The family allowance is intended to support the family members for one year after the decedent’s death and the probate court has discretion to set the amount of the allowance. This–plus the difficulties inherent in valuing assets–makes it difficult to know whether an order of no administration should be used.
It should also be noted that this option can be used when the decedent had a will and when he did not have a will, but is most often only used when the decedent did not have a will.
Requirements for an Order of No Administration
There are several requirements that must be met before the probate court will approve an order of no administration, including the following:
- The decedent is survived by a spouse and/or dependent children
- All of the requirements for the family allowance have to be met
- The estate assets (less homestead and exempt property) do not exceed the funeral and last expense and family allowance.
- A personal representative has not been appointed for the estate.
Benefits of the No Administration Order
The order of no administration provides many of the benefits of a full probate, including the following:
- Possession and title to assets can be transferred to the surviving spouse and/or dependent children pursuant to the order.
- Non-spouse and/or dependent children are precluded from taking estate property.
- Would be creditors lose their ability to pursue claims.
One Year Statute of Limitations
The order of no administration does provides the finality of a full probate, but it does not do so until one year after the order is entered. The order can be revoked within one year after it is entered. The order may be revoked if an interested party contests the order. If revoked, it is likely that the estate will have to have a full probate.
How to Obtain a No Administration Order
The no administration order is obtained by submitting an application to the probate court. A court hearing is required. The applicant then has to prove entitlement to the family allowance, the amount of the allowance, and enough information to apprise the court of what assets are part of the estate.
Hire an Experienced Probate Attorney
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