Estate Administration

Independent Administration

Authority of Probate Court

In re Guardianship of Bayne, 171 S.W.3d 232 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2005, pet. denied).


After Ward’s death, the court ordered Guardian to transfer Ward’s property to Independent Executor. Guardian complied. Later, however, Guardian obtained an order from the trial court requiring Executor to re-transfer some of Ward’s property to Guardian. The appellate court held that the trial court had no authority to issue this order. The court examined the Probate Code and was unable to locate a provision which would permit the trial court to issue such an order. Accordingly, the appellate court vacated the order.

Moral: Once the guardian of the estate of a deceased ward transfers property to the personal representative of the ward’s estate, it is too late for the guardian to regain control of this property.


Claims Procedure


The trial court ordered the independent executor to pay a specified debt. The appellate court vacated the order because the creditor had not followed the procedures specified in the Probate Code. The creditor neither filed a claim with the executor nor filed suit against the executor. The appellate court explained that the trial court’s order was an “unwarranted intrusion into the independent administration of the estate.” Bayne at 238.

Moral: Estate creditors should follow the procedures set forth in the Probate Code to collect their debts.