Estate Administration


Judicial Admission by Consenting to Contents

Lee v. Lee, 43 S.W.3d 636 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2001, no pet.).


Depositor opened certificates of deposit in trust account form in favor of Nieces and Nephew. Depositor died intestate. Depositor’s Wife notified Bank that Depositor opened the CDs with community property without her consent and knowledge. Nonetheless, Bank permitted Nieces and Nephew to redeem the CDs. Later, Nieces and Nephew through their attorney agreed to an inventory of Depositor’s estate which listed the CDs as community property. When Wife discovered that Nieces and Nephews had closed the accounts, she sued to recover the funds asserting that Nieces and Nephews had judicially admitted that the CDs were community property when they agreed to the inventory listing them as such. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Wife.

The appellate court affirmed. Attorney for Nieces and Nephews did not challenge the inventory designating the CDs as community property nor did Attorney ask for a reconsideration. Attorney had judicially admitted that the CDs were community property. Accordingly, Nieces and Nephew may not claim that Depositor gave them the CDs and that they are not part of the community estate.

Moral: Do not consent to or approve an inventory which designates a decedent’s property in a manner contrary to the client’s best interests.