Schuele v. Schuele, 119 S.W.3d 822 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2003, no pet.).


Beneficiary sued Trustee of a testamentary trust for an accounting and damages in District Court. Trustee convinced the District Court to dismiss the case claiming that the court lacked jurisdiction because the County Court at Law in which Settlor’s will had been probated had dominant jurisdiction. Beneficiary appealed.

The appellate court reversed holding that the District Court did have jurisdiction to hear the case. The court examined Probate Code § 5A(a) which lists the type of actions that are appertaining and incident to an estate with respect to a county court at law. The administration of testamentary trusts is not included. Accordingly, jurisdiction is determined by Property Code § 115.001(a) which provides that the district court has jurisdiction.

Moral: A county court at law does not have jurisdiction over testamentary trusts.