Probate & Guardianship Cases

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Probate and Guardianship Cases deal with protecting the wishes, rights, and obligations of a person regarding their property and/or assets when these persons are unable to do so because they are a minor, have an incapacitating illness (physical or mental), or as a result of death.

 

Venue

As a general rule probate cases are heard in the deceased or wards county of residence except in certain instances. For further information concerning questions of venue, consult https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/ES/htm/ES.33.htm.

 

Procedure for Initial Filing

An executor named in a will or any interested person may make application to probate a will. Any person interested in the estate may, at any time before any issue in any proceeding is decided by the court, file an opposition thereto. The application, any contest, and all subsequent instruments relating to the case are prepared by the party submitting the application or the party's attorney(s); except for the clerk's processes.

 

Filing Fees

**NEW FEES BECAME EFFECTIVE JANUARY 8, 2019**

 Original Action (Local Gov't Code Sec. 118.055)
Letters Testamentary  $340.00
Dependent Administration   $340.00

Independent Administration

 $340.00
Application to Determine Heirship - No Administration  $340.00
Muniment of Title  $338.00
Sale of Property with Posting  $338.00
Application to Open Safety Deposit Box  $284.00
Small Estate Proceedings  $284.00

Guardianship

 $338.00

 New Action in Existing Case

 Ancillary Action

(+ Issuance/service fees that apply)

          $257.00

 Application to Determine Heirship - Existing Case

(Includes issuance and posting fees)

 $135.00

 Adverse Probate Action

(Local Gov't Code Sec. 118.057)

 $117.00

Services in Pending Probate Action (Local Gov't Code Sec. 118.056)
Annual Account   $27.00 

Final Account

(Includes issuance and posting fees)

$81.00

 Inventory and Appraisement (Original and Amended)

(After 90 days from qualifying date for Probate or 30 days for Guardianship)

$27.00 
 Annual or Final Report of Guardianship of a Person $12.00 

 Application for Sale of Property

(Includes issuance and posting fees)

$81.00 
 *** Filing a document not listed after the filing of an order approving inventory and appraisement or after the 120th day after the date of the initial filing of the action, whichever occurs first - Document over 25 pages*** $25.00 
 Bond Approval Fee (Other than Guardianship) $3.00 

 Letters (each)

(Testamentary, Guardianship, or Administration)

$2.00 
 Claim Against Estate

$12.00

 Safekeeping of Wills $5.00 
 Judge's Signature $2.00 

 ISSUANCE OF PROCESS
 The following fees are for the issuance of citations/notices that are required to be issued by the Clerk at the direction of the parties or attorney(s) for the parties
 Subpoena  $5.00
 Each Citation Issued $4.00
 Notice $4.00
 Any other document authorized or required to be issued by the Clerk  $4.00

 SERVICE OF PROCESS BY CONSTABLE OR SHERIFF
 Fees for service of process performed by a Johnson County Constable or by an officer of the Sheriff's Department
 Subpoena                                                                                        $85.00
 Summons  $85.00
 All Court Citations  $85.00
 Notices (Show Cause, Trustee Sale, Etc.)  $85.00
 Posting of Notices/Citations  $50.00

 Citation by Publication

( + Publication fees paid directly to the newspaper)

 $85.00

 

***ALL fees are due and payable at the time of filing. Personal checks are not accepted. Attorney's business checks are accepted. Visa and Master Cards accepted. Fees may be charged to a credit card via telephone or mail by supplying the account number, expiration date, and card holder's zip code.

 

Service of Process by Authorized Person other than Constable or Sheriff: Process may be served in many instances by a private citizen authorized by order of the court to provide this service. In order to qualify, the person must be 18 years of age or older, have no interest in the case, and have on file with the appropriate court an affidavit stating these facts; or be certified by the Texas Supreme Court. An 'Order for Rule 103' for the judge's signature must be presented with each request for such service.

Service of Process by Certified Mail by the Clerk: Upon request of the party requesting issuance of process, the clerk will serve the citation by mailing to the defendant by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a true copy of the citation with a copy of the application/motion attached. The fee for service by certified mail is $85.00.

Citation by Publication: Service of citation may be by publication upon filing of an affidavit stating the whereabouts of the person being served is unknown. Process is issued by the clerk and returned to the party or the party's attorney for publication in the appropriate publication. A publisher's affidavit must be filed with the clerk.

 

 

Relevant Forms:

 

 

For information concerning the status of a pending Probate Case, please call (817) 556-6323, Ext. 1306 or 1310. Records requests and/or copies may be obtained by calling (817) 556-6323, Ext. 1316.