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When someone goes through the process of an estate, this usually means that they will have to liquidate the deceased’s assets. This is not always a simple financial task to undertake, and there are many different legal and monetary details involved. You might be aware of some of these steps, but after reading this article you will know the answer to the question “when is the estate legally closed in Texas?”

Legal Terminology

Independent Administration of an Estate: a proceeding that is not conducted by a court. Once a person has filed an application for probate of a will and been deemed qualified to be the independent executor of the will, they compile a list of an estate’s assets and claims against the estate. After the independent executor pays the bills and distributes the assets, the estate is considered closed.

Real Probate Case

In re Estate of Teinert, 251 S.W.3d 66 (Tex. App. – Waco 2008, pet. denied)

Facts & Procedural History : Found Assets

John A. Teinert (Decedent) passed away in 1977. In 1978, his will was probated, and an independent administration of the estate was conducted. The independent executor paid the bills and distributed the related assets within a year’s time but failed to file an affidavit that would close the administration of the estate. In addition, no order was entered that would have formally closed the estate. In 2007, Laurence Kreigel filed an application in the trial court requesting that he be appointed as independent executor over the estate. The trial court denied the application, and then proceeded to file an order officially closing the estate. Kreigel appealed, and the Court of Appeals informed Kreigel that, if he wanted to continue his appeal, he must file an answer that included grounds for why the appeal should not be dismissed. Kreigel failed to file an answer, and the Court dismissed the claim for lack of jurisdiction.

The Court of Appeals held that since the trial court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case (its jurisdiction ended once the estate was considered closed), the Court of Appeals only had the jurisdiction to dismiss the case. Kreigel argued that the Texas Probate Code [now the Texas Estates Code] authorized the appointment of an independent executor, and that none had been appointed to the estate at hand. The Court stated that this was inaccurate, and that one had been appointed nearly thirty years prior. Once that independent executor had settled the estate’s claims and dispersed its assets, the estate was considered legally closed.

Main Considerations

How can a decedent’s estate with an independent executor be closed? Final Distribution

The estate can be closed by: (1) the independent executor’s filing of an affidavit; or (2) a court order. It should be noted that these are not the only ways to formally close a decedent’s estate (see Sections 151 and 152 of the old Texas Probate Code) and that after the payment of debts and claims of an estate, the final distribution of an estate’s assets also closes the estate.

Are the closing measures accounted for by Texas law mandatory?

No, these measures are not mandatory.

The Takeaway: Final Probate Accounting

In re Estate of Teinert shows that, even when an estate does not have an independent executor that filed an affidavit closing the estate nor a court order closing the estate, the estate is considered closed by operation of law once the independent executor paid its bills and distributed its assets.

Do you need an experienced attorney to deal with estate sale closing statements and tax after the death of a loved one?

Whether the estate is large or small, the process of settling it and distributing its assets can take a considerable amount of time. For some estates, attorneys with expertise in this area might be necessary to handle all the legal requirements and paperwork. Call us today for a FREE attorney consultation. (281) 219-9090.

https://houston-probate-law.com/

Related Questions

How long do you have to close an estate in Texas?

If you’re the executor of an estate in Texas, you may be wondering how long you have to close the estate. The answer isn’t always clear, since it can depend on a number of factors. However, there are some general guidelines that can give you an idea of how long the process may take.

One factor that can affect the timeline for closing an estate is whether or not there are any disputes among the heirs. If there is disagreement about how to distribute the assets, for example, this can lengthen the process. Another factor is the size and complexity of the estate. A large estate with many assets may take longer to settle than a smaller one.

In general, though, you can expect the process of closing an estate in Texas to take several months. Once all the debts and taxes have been paid, and all the assets have been distributed to the heirs, you’ll need to file a final report with the court. After that, the estate will be officially closed.

How long can you keep an estate open (or reopened) after death?

There is no definitive answer to this question since it can vary depending on the situation. However, in Texas, an estate is generally considered to be legally closed once all debts and expenses have been paid off and all assets have been distributed to the rightful heirs. This process can sometimes take months or even years to complete, so it’s important to be patient and work with a qualified attorney to ensure that everything is done properly.

What happens after probate is closed?

In Texas, once probate is closed, the estate is legally settled and the executor can distribute the assets to the beneficiaries. However, there are still some things that need to be done in order to finalize the estate. The executor will need to file a final accounting with the court, which will show how all of the assets were distributed. Additionally, any debts that were incurred during the administration of the estate will need to be paid off. Once all of these matters are taken care of, the estate will be considered closed.

How do I prepare a final accounting for an estate?

When it comes to estate administration, one of the key questions is when the estate is legally closed. In Texas, the court may close an estate for various reasons, including:

  • All debts and taxes have been paid
  • All assets have been distributed
  • All claims against the estate have been resolved

If you are preparing a final accounting for an estate, it is important to be aware of these deadlines. Once the estate is closed, you will no longer be able to make any changes to the distribution of assets or payment of debts. If you have any questions about how to prepare a final accounting, be sure to consult with an experienced probate attorney.

How to close an estate with the IRS?

If you’re the executor of an estate in Texas, you may be wondering how to close the estate with the IRS. The first step is to file a final federal income tax return for the deceased person. You’ll need to use the person’s Social Security number and file as “individual.” You should also check the box that says “deceased” on the return.

If there is any outstanding tax debt, you’ll need to pay that off before closing the estate. You may also need to file state and local income tax returns, as well as any other final tax returns for the deceased person.

Once all tax returns have been filed and any outstanding tax debts have been paid, you can close the estate with the IRS by filing Form 706. This form is used to report the value of the estate and any taxes that are owed. Once you’ve completed and filed Form 706, you’ll receive a Letter of Determination from the IRS confirming that the estate has been closed.

This part of the process can be daunting if not out right scary. We recommend calling Mitchell Tax Law to get a free consultation from a former Estate & Gift Tax Attorney with the IRS.

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