Significant changes to Section 128A notices to beneficiaries
Monday, July 18, 2011
Glenn Karisch in 2011 legislation

This is one of a series of posts about 2011 legislation.

The 2007 amendment to Probate Code Section 128A caused much grumbling among probate lawyers.  It required the personal representative of a testate decedent to send certified mail notices to (or obtain waivers from) all beneficiaries named in the will.  The 2007 changes were a rush job to address concerns expressed in the Legislature over a sensational case in Travis County in which an independent executor was accused of misappropriating estate funds without ever telling the estate beneficiaries that he was the executor and that they had an interest in the estate.  Because it was a rush job, 2007’s Section 128A was rough around the edges and went further than has proven to be necessary.

SB 1198 amends Section 128A to make the rules about notices to beneficiaries much easier to meet.  Here are the key changes:

SB 1198 clarifies that notices are not required if the will is probated as a muniment of title and that notices are not required to a person whose interest arises on the occurrence of a contingency which has not occurred.

The changes made by SB 1198 apply to the estate of a decedent dying on or after September 1, 2011.  The old law must be followed for persons dying before that date.

Article originally appeared on Texas Probate (
See website for complete article licensing information.