The new Texas Estates Code replaced the thirty year old Texas Probate Code a few years ago and with it came many updates. One of the updates has been the Affidavit in Lieu of Inventory. This Affidavit can be filed by the Executor in place of the Inventory and provides greater privacy to the estate and to the heirs.

As probate estate documents are normally public records, many people disliked having the Inventory public record. This was often a reason people chose to have trusts created, simply to avoid their assets becoming common knowledge through public records. Certain conditions must be met for an Executor to be able to file an Affidavit in Lieu of Inventory for a Probate case, but it generally makes things must easier and faster.

“An independent executor may file with the court clerk, in lieu of the inventory, appraisement, and list of claims, an affidavit stating that all debts, except for secured debts, taxes, and administration expenses, are paid.” Section 309.056 of the Texas Estates Code.

However, the Independent Executor must be filed within ninety days with the Court and all the beneficiaries must have received a copy of the full inventory, appraisement, and list of claims. Failure to timely file comes with a stiff penalty. “If the personal representative does not file the inventory, appraisement, and list of claims or affidavit in lieu of the inventory, appraisement, and list of claims, as applicable, after being cited or does not show good cause for the failure to timely file, the court on hearing may fine the representative in an amount not to exceed $1,000.” Section 309.057(c).

The Affidavit in lieu of Inventory can only be filed “if there are no unpaid debts, except for secured debts, taxes, and administration expenses”.

The Executor must update the Inventory promptly if he discovers or comes into possession previously unknown and unreported assets into the estate, as per Section 309.101.

As with all things Probate, it’s best to have an attorney that focuses on Probate so that you are taken care of and your attorney is up to date on all the latest probate changes.

Goodluck!

-Blaise Regan
Blaise Regan is a Partner at Regan & Frisbie, PLLC, a law firm focusing on Wills, Trusts, Probate, Contracts, Business Formations (LLC, Corporation, S-Corp Designation), Business Disputes, DTPA claims, and Consumer Litigation.

Regan & Frisbie, PLLC is located at 7160 Preston Road, Suite 100, Plano, Texas 75024.

Comments or questions, feel free to email him at Blaise@RFPlawfirm.com or call him at 469.200.4737.

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