Estate of Davidson, No. 05-15-00432-CV, 2016 WL 4254487 (Tex. App.—Dallas Aug. 11, 2016, no pet.).

Estate Administration


Removal of Personal Representative


The probate court appointed co-executors of the testator’s estate. Later, a beneficiary of the will petitioned the court to remove the co-executors from office and to recover damages, costs, and attorney fees. The court granted the motion to remove the co-executors and thereafter appointed the beneficiary as the dependent administrator with the will annexed. Over one year later, one of the removed co-executors challenged the court’s order removing him from office. The removed co-executor then moved for a new trial and the probate court denied the motion. An appeal followed.


The appellate court instructed the parties to address the issue of whether the original removal order was appealable. The court held that the order was final and rejected the removed co-executor’s claim that it was not final because there were still related clams pending in the underlying probate action. The court explained the Texas law is clear that an order removing a personal representative is appealable as it adjudicates a substantial right.


Moral:  A judgment removing a personal representative from office is a final judgment for appellate purposes.