Meekins v. Wisnoski, 404 S.W.3d 690 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2013, no pet.).


Title of Devisee

A beneficiary claimed that a receiver appointed to sell property of the testator’s estate could not sell his interest because of the well-established principle that the interest of a beneficiary vests immediately upon the testator’s death. Estates Code § 101.001. The appellate court rejected this argument explaining that once an executor is appointed, the executor holds legal title along with a superior right to possess the property to pay the decedent’s debts. Estates Code § 101.051(a). Thus, when the probate court appointed a receiver to partition and sell estate property to pay a tax debt and the sale properly took place, the purchaser received the testator’s interest in the property.


Moral: A beneficiary’s vested interest in the estate remains subject to the testator’s creditors and thus a beneficiary may lose his or her entire bequest or devise.