Letter of testamentary Texas (process and free sample)

This post covers everything you need to know about the Letter of testamentary Texas.

Here you will learn

  • What is a Letter of testamentary Texas
  • How to get a Letter of testamentary Texas
  • How long does it take to get a Letter of testamentary Texas?
  • How much does a letter of testamentary cost in Texas?
  • Who issues letters of testamentary in Texas?
  • What is the difference between letters testamentary and Letters of Administration in Texas?
  • sample letter of testamentary texas
  • etc.

Let’s dive right in

What is a Letter of testamentary Texas

Letters of testamentary in Texas is a legal document that Texas’s Probate Court issues following the filing and approval of the proper petition for the purpose of appointing an Executor of the estates belonging to the person who dies testate (leaving a Will).

Until the Texas probate court provides Letters Testamentary, no one may function as executor. Once the testamentary letter is granted, then the executor may deal with the deceased estate’s assets, pay the estate’s debts and liabilities, and distribute the remaining assets to the estate’s beneficiaries.

NB: ‘Letters of testamentary’ is not the same as a letter in the traditional sense. “letters” means “mandate, authority, and command in legal jargon.”

Who issues letters of testamentary in Texas?

Letters of testamentary in Texas is issued by the County Clerk’s office after a Probate Court  Judge has signed an order authorizing the clerk to issue such letters

There are 18 probate courts in 10 counties in Texas (check them here).

It’s critical to begin the process of getting letters of testamentary in the proper jurisdiction.

Even if all of the formalities are followed, it is likely that the case will be dismissed because it was filed in the wrong court.

This is exacerbated further by the fact that each Texas court has its own set of probate procedures and qualifications.

Check with the county clerk in the county or counties where you believe your probate should be handled before submitting it.

How to get a Letter of testamentary Texas

The process of getting letters of testamentary in Texas is governed by The Texas Estates Code and initiated by lodging a formal application (Petition) to the probate court in the county where the decedent resided.

NB: An application for the grant of letters testamentary of an estate must be filed not later than the fourth anniversary of the decedent’s death.

Following the filing of the probate application, there will be a two-week waiting period before the application is heard. During this time, the county clerk will issue a notice at the courthouse saying that a probate application has been filed, which will serve as notice to anyone who might oppose the petition. If no objections are filed, the probate court will proceed with further steps.

Following the waiting period, a Texas probate court will hold a hearing and officially recognize the decedent’s death. You can also expect the probate judge to check the will’s authenticity, and if everything goes okay, he’ll issue letters of Testamentary to the executor named in the will.

 How long does it take to get a Letter of testamentary Texas?

The entire Probate Proceeding can take as little as 4 months to sometimes years, depending on

  1. whether your application is complete
  2. Where there is a person who contests the petition
  3. the complexity of the Estate.
  4. availability of the Judge
  5. Court backlogs
  6. etc

How much does a letter of testamentary cost in Texas?

The cost of a letter of testamentary in texas varies from county to county, it ranges from $300 t0 800 excluding attorneys fees. For example, the cost for Application for Probate of Will letter of testamentary in Bexar County is $390.00 while Application for Probate of Will and for Issuance of Letters Testamentary in Travis County costs
$360.00

I advise you to consult an attorney or check your county’s probate court website to see the exactly applicable fee.

What is the difference between letters testamentary and Letters of Administration in Texas?

In Texas, Letters Testamentary is issued when a person dies with a Will (testate) while Letters of Administration are granted when a person dies without a Will (“Intestate”)

Further According to the Texas Estates Code, the Probate Court, although the decedent left will grant letters of administration instead of Letters Testamentary if the will is invalid, the will named no Executor o, or the Executor of the Will is also deceased.

Sample letter of testamentary texas

The following is the sample language/text used in a typical Letters Testamentary Texas

I, the undersigned Clerk of the Probate Court No. 1 of Travis County Texas, do hereby certify that on [date of the court order], Bob Brown was duly granted by said Court, Letters Testamentary of the Estate of  Smith Harvey Deceased, and he qualified as Independent Executor without the bond of the said estate on [date] as the law requires, said the appointment is still in full force and effect.

Given under my hand and seal of office at Austin, Texas, on [date].

Read also:

Isack Kimaro
Isack Kimaro

Editor-in-chief and founder of sherianajamii.com. Holder of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Lawyer by profession and blogger by passion