Texas Probate, Trust and Guardianship Legislation, 1997 - 2009

Glenn Karisch has been tracking legislation and writing about it on The Texas Probate Web Site since 1997. With the transition to the new web site in January 2011, the information about legislation from prior sessions was moved to the legacy Texas Probate Web Site at texasprobate.net.  Please note that it is possible that moving the old pages to the legacy site may have broken some of the links.  The vast majority still work, but if you encounter a broken link, please email Glenn at karisch@texasprobate.com, and he may be able to fix the link.

Here are links to some of the 1997 - 2009 information:

2009 Legislation

The 2009 session will be remembered for:

  • "Chubbing" in the House late in the session, which caused many bills -- including REPTL's decedents' estates bill -- from passing.
  • Enactment of the first 65 chapters of the new "Estates Code," set to become effective January 1, 2014.  These changes included most of the chapters on decedents' estates.
  • Enactment of new jurisdictional rules affecting decedents' estates -- gone are "appertaining to and incident to an estate," replaced by "probate proceedings" and "matters related to probate proceedings."
  • New statutes making it easier to place residential property in revocable living trusts while maintaining homestead protections.
  • A new statute on in terrorem ("no contest") provisions in wills and trusts which prohibits their 
    enforcement in cases where probable cause exists for bringing the action and the action is 
    brought and maintained in good faith.
  • New options for special needs trusts making it easier to get court approval of these government-benefit-planning devices, including 867 Trusts with individuals or guardianship programs as trustees and court-ordered placement of funds in a pooled interest trust.

Web site resources include:

 2007 Legislation

Key changes in 2007 include:

  • Major changes to Probate Code Section 128A, requiring notice to beneficiaries that a will has been probated and an independent executor appointed.
  • Repeal of the 2005 statute requiring trustees to keep beneficiaries informed.
  • A myriad of changes affecting decedents' estates, including making marriage voidable after death based on mental incapacity, new rules about handling unpaid child support claims, "disinheriting" bad parents and changes to the rules about what happens when spouses divorce but don't change their wills.
  • Changes to pleading, proof and order requirements for guardianships intended to protect proposed ward's rights to vote and drive

Here are links to web site resources:

2005 Legislation

2003 Legislation

2001 Legislation

1999 Legislation

1997 Legislation