In Matter of Estate of Romo, 469 S.W.3d 260 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2015, no pet.).

Estate Administration



After an application to probate the testator’s 2001 will was filed, an application to probate testator’s 2006 will was filed and granted. The proponent of the 2001 will then contested the 2006 will on grounds that the testator lacked testamentary capacity or that the testator signed the will under undue influence. The court concluded that the 2006 will did not even comport with the statutory requirements for a valid will and set aside its order admitting the 2006 will to probate. The court did not rule on the validity of the 2001 will. The proponent of the 2006 will appealed.


The court dismissed the appeal finding that it lacked jurisdiction as the order setting aside the probate of the 2006 will was not a final order. The court explained that Estates Code § 256.101 prescribes a procedure when two applications are simultaneously pending, that is, the court must determine which will (if either) to admit to probate. Because the court had not yet ruled on the validity of the 2001 will, the order was not final.


Moral:  If multiple wills are filed for probate, the court must decide on the validity of each will before an appellate court will have jurisdiction to hear an appeal.