Haga v. Thomas, 409 S.W.3d 731 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2013, pet. denied).


Estate Administration



Decedent was a North Carolina resident at the time of his death.  Beneficiary was successful in getting a court in North Carolina to admit Decedent’s will to probate.  After Decedent’s parents had a Texas probate court admit the will to probate and construe that will with regard to how it disposed of Texas real property, Beneficiary appealed claiming that the North Carolina court had exclusive jurisdiction over Decedent’s will and the administration of his estate.


The appellate court affirmed.  The court begin its analysis by examining Probate Code § 95(a) which allows a will probated elsewhere to be admitted to probate in Texas.  However, the court pointed out that this section “does not address whether a Texas probate court has jurisdiction to resolve disputes concerning the administration of an estate or the construction of a will of a decedent who died in another estate and was domiciled in that other state, but who owned real property in Texas.”  Id.  The court reviewed leading Texas cases and concluded that “the existence of real property in Texas gives Texas courts jurisdiction over an administration concerning that real property.”  Id.


Moral:  Texas courts have jurisdiction regarding the administration of Texas real property regardless of where the will was admitted to probate.