What rules apply to possesors of an Original Will after Decedent’s Death?

Texas Probate Code Section 75 states that upon receipt of notice of the death of a testator (the person who made a will) the person having custody of the testator’s will shall deliver it to the clerk of the court which has jurisdiction of the estate. If an individual who is in possession of a will does not do so, a person may file a sworn written complaint regarding the will or papers belonging to the estate of a testator (or a person who dies intestate [without a will] ). In such circumstances a county judge shall cause that person to be cited by personal service to appear before him or her and to show cause why he or she should not deliver such will to the court for probate or why he or she shall not deliver such important papers to the executor or administrator. The court may then, if satisfied that such person had the will or papers at the time of filing of the complaint, cause him or her to be arrested and imprisoned until her or she shall so deliver them. Any person refusing to deliver such will or papers may also be liable to any person for all damages sustained as a result of such refusal.

It is noted that this Section of the Probate Code does not impose a requirement that all wills be submitted for probate. Instead, the statute’s primary concern is to remedy suppression of a will by an individual in possession of same.

Category : Probate Law &Will Contests

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