Although probate has a lengthy, costly reputation, the term simply refers to the distribution of a person’s estate by his or her executor under court supervision. Texas offers various options for probate depending on the size of the estate, the type of assets and other factors. 

Exploring the types of Texas probate can help you plan your estate accordingly while reducing the potential tax burden for your surviving family members. 

Independent administration 

In your will, you can name the executor for your estate and request that he or she pursues independent administration. The court can also order independent administration unless one or more beneficiaries disagree. With the independent administration process, your executor can distribute assets, sell estate property, provide a family allowance and pay estate debts without court permission. He or she does not have to post a bond to shield against loss of the estate assets. 

However, the executor must provide the court with an asset inventory for the estate and give potential creditors public notice of the estate settlement. With independent administration, the executor receives a payment of 5% of all estate assets he or she collects or distributes. 

Dependent administration 

Texas courts require dependent administration only when you request this probate process in your will and/or one of the beneficiaries disagrees with independent administration. With dependent administration, the court supervises all steps of estate settlement. The executor must seek permission to take the above-described actions on behalf of the estate. 

Muniment of title 

The court uses this process when the person has a will, Medicaid does not have a benefit recovery claim and the estate has no other unpaid debts except a mortgage. The executor will file the will with the court along with a petition for muniment of title. If the court determines that your estate qualifies, the executor or personal representative can transfer its assets to named beneficiaries. This person must file an affidavit with the court within six months asserting that he or she has fulfilled the will’s terms.