2011 Bills

2011 Legislation

The 82nd Texas Legislature ended its regular session May 30, 2011. All probate, guardianship and trust bills passed during the session have been signed by the Governor, and most become effective September 1, 2011. One bill in the first called session (SB 1) contains guardianship changes and, as of July 8, 2011, was awaiting the Governor's signature. Each bill affecting probate, guardianship and trust law is listed below. Click here to search for a particular bill, or use the list of topics and key words to the right to find legislation.

Useful links: 

All bills are labeled "Awaiting Governor's Signature," "Enacted," or "Did Not Pass."

Entries in attorney's fees (5)


x-Did Not Pass: HB 1325 -- Ad litem fees in guardianships

Caption:  Relating to payment of the costs for services of a guardian ad litem and attorney ad litem in a guardianship proceeding.
Author:  Hartnett
Bill History
Bill Text

Relevance:  This bill would permit the court to order the applicant to pay ad litem fees, but only if the proposed ward's assets are insufficient. 

See "Ad litem fees and attorneys' fees in guardianships: who pays?" on texasprobate.com.


x-Did Not Pass: HB 1837 -- REPTL guardianship bill

Caption: Relating to guardianships and alternatives to guardianship for persons who have physical disabilities or who are incapacitated.
Author: Hartnett
Bill History
Bill Text

Relevance: This bill is supported by the Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. It makes multiple changes to the guardianship statutes in the Texas Probate Code. These include:

  • Changing the guardianship jurisdiction statutes in a way that is consistent to 2009's changes to the decedents' estates jurisdiction statutes. This is related to the enactment of the new Estates Code. (Sections 601, 605, 606A, 607A, 607B, 607C, 607D, 607E, and other technical changes) 
  • Clarifies that an attorney ad litem appointed in a temporary guardianship continues to serve until a permanent guardian is appointed or the guardianship application is denied. (Section 646)
  • Eliminates the 5% of income and 5% of disbursement method of determining guardianship compensation in favor of a "reasonable compensation" standard. (Section 665)
  • Makes it easier for the conservator of an adult disabled child to obtain a guardianship of that child. (Section 682A)
  • Fixes some technical problems caused by 2009 changes to the physician's certificate requirements for guardianships. (Section 687)
  • Eliminates the need to list other co-owners of property on guardianship inventories. (Sections 729 and 730)
  • Clarifies that a guardianship of the estate shall be settled when all of the guardianship assets are transferred to a pooled trust subaccount. (Section 745)
  • In the settlement of a guardianship estate, the attorney ad litem's fees may be taxed as costs instead of automatically coming from the ward's estate. (Section 745)
  • Changes the maximum age for a guardian of a person to "voluntarily" admit the ward to an inpatient psychiatric facility from 16 to 18. (Section 770)
  • Makes it possible to apply to the court for permission to transfer a portion of the ward's estate "as necessary to qualify the ward for government benefits." (Section 865)
  • Permits a person with a physical disability only to apply for creation of a guardianship management trust (which may be necessary to qualify for governmental benefits). (Sections 867, 868, 868C, 869 and 870) The court cannot require the trustee of a trust created for a person with a physical disability only to file annual or final accountings. (Sections 871 and 873)
  • Requires the trustee of a guardianship management trust to file an "initial accounting" (the equivalent of an inventory) within 30 days after the date a trustee receives property. (Section 870A
  • Clarifies who can apply for the establishment of a pooled trust subaccount and who is eligible for a pooled trust subaccount. (Sections 910 and 911)

See "REPTL bills would make changes to trusts, guardianships and powers of attorney" on texasprobate.com. 


x-Did Not Pass: HB 1934 -- Attorneys' fees of beneficiary in will contest

Caption: Relating to an allowance from a decedent's estate for devisees in and beneficiaries of a will who defend and prosecute certain proceedings relating to the will.
Author: Woolley
Bill History
Bill Text

Relevance: If HB 1934 passes, a beneficiary in a will contest must be successful in that litigation in order to be eligible to have his or her attorneys' fees paid from the decedent's estate. Currently, Texas Probate Code Section 243 permits the court to award attorneys' fees to an beneficiary who acts in good faith and with just cause whether successful or not.


x-Did Not Pass: SB 286 -- Costs in guardianships

Caption:  Relating to attorney's fees and other amounts taxed as costs in guardianship proceedings.
Author:  Harris
Bill History
Bill Text 

Relevance:  This bill would amend Probate Code Sections 665A and 665B to permit the court to allocate costs in a guardianship proceeding among the parties as the court finds is fair and just.  Costs include compensation of attorneys ad litem, guardians ad litem, mental health professionals and interpreters.

See "Ad litem fees and attorneys' fees in guardianships: who pays?" on texasprobate.com.


x-Did Not Pass: SB 1027 -- Attorney/guardians can't provide legal services

Caption: Relating to the provision of legal services by a guardian in connection with a guardianship.
Author: Harris
Bill History
Bill Text

Relevance: This bill would add Section 773A to the Probate Code, reading: "An attorney who services as guardian may not provide legal services in connection with the guardianship." It would repeal Section 665D, which was added in 2009 and which provides that an attorney serving as guardian who also provides legal services (1) must file detailed billing with the court and (2) "is not entitled to payment of attorney's fees for guardianship services that are not legal services."