Kholaif v. Safi, 636 S.W.3d 313 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2021, pet. denied).

Estate Administration

Bill of Review

Decedent’s wife executed a premarital agreement which waived her rights to homestead, the family allowance, and exempt property. The trial court granted summary judgment that the agreement was valid and enforceable. The decedent’s wife then filed for a bill of review alleging that the agreement was not properly executed and that she did not make an informed decision when she signed it. The court denied the bill of review explaining that she did not prove that the court made a substantial error when it signed the summary judgment.


The Fourteenth Houston Court of Appeals affirmed. The court examined Estates Code § 55.251 and applicable case law which provides that the court may revise or correct an order on the showing of a substantial error proven by a preponderance of the evidence. The court explained that there was insufficient evidence to show that the trial court’s denial of the bill of review was an abuse of discretion. The court did not act in an unreasonable or arbitrary manner or without reference to guiding rules and principles. The court also described how the wife’s failure to respond to requests for admissions lead to the validity of the premarital agreement being conclusively established.


Moral:  Requests for admissions should not be ignored because failure to respond results in the conclusive establishment of those admissions which cannot be controverted in a later proceeding.