West Texas LTC Partners, Inc. v. Collier, 595 S.W.3d 308 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2020, pet. denied).

Estate Administration



Both the trial and appellate court agreed that a creditor was barred from recovering its claim from the decedent’s estate. The decedent accrued a debt while under guardianship. The guardian properly notified the creditor that it had 120 days to file a claim against the guardianship or otherwise be barred as authorized under Estates Code § 1153.003. Creditor did not file a claim in the guardianship proceeding. After decedent died, the creditor submitted an authenticated claim for the same debt.

The courts agreed with the independent administratrix that claim was barred because the creditor did not timely file the claim in the guardianship proceeding after receiving a proper § 1153.003 notice. The court rejected the creditor’s argument that it could recover on its claim because it timely filed its claim in the estate proceeding under Estates Code § 355.001 and that § 1153.003 applies exclusively to claims in a guardianship. The appellate court explained that § 1153.004 barred the claim because the creditor did not timely file its claim in the guardianship proceeding.

Moral:  Once a claim is barred in a guardianship proceeding, that claim cannot rise again like the Phoenix in an estate proceeding.