SETTING PROBATE HEARINGS:
Uncontested probate matters are heard on designated Monday afternoons at 1:30 PM. Email Ms. Michalik to request hearing dates. Contested matters will also be set by email request.
IMPORTANT PROBATE INFORMATION:
CIVIL CASE INFORMATION SHEET
The Court will not hear a case until a Civil Case Information Sheet has been on file at least one week prior to the scheduled hearing date.
PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE GENERAL INFORMATION SHEET
A Personal Representative General Information Sheet needs to be completed for all persons that are appointed in a fiduciary role (Executor, Administrator, Guardian). If multiple persons are appointed in case, a form needs to be completed for each individual.
Please return all completed Personal Representative General Information Sheets [PDF] directly to the Court, by emailing them to the Probate Auditor at Brenda.Michalik@fortbendcountytx.gov
Proposed Orders and/or Judgments: It is the Court’s policy to review – before the hearing – all documents for an uncontested probate matter. We must receive the proposed Orders and Judgements no later than 10:00 a.m. on the Monday the week before the scheduled hearing or the hearing is subject to cancellation. At its discretion, the Court may postpone or cancel a hearing if an attorney fails to comply with posted guidelines for uncontested docket paperwork. By reviewing the documents before the hearing, the Court can ensure that hearings go more smoothly for participants who are already dealing with the stress of someone’s death.
- Where to email documents to Court: After the hearing is set, email proposed Orders and/or Judgements to email@example.com. Please include the hearing date in the email.
- E-filing of all Ancillary Documents: Applicants on the uncontested docket must have all necessary filings completed at least one week prior to the docket. This means that everything except the proposed orders/judgments, testimony, and oaths that will be signed at the hearing. Failure to do so may result in removal from the docket.
- Testimony via Deposition on Written Questions/Posted Notice Requirement: Applicants on the uncontested docket wishing to submit testimony via deposition on written questions must meet TEC 51.203 requirements, including first posting citation. Deposition response(s) must be filed at least one week prior to the docket.
- Court’s Policy on the use of Interpreters: If a client or witness cannot communicate in English during a hearing, whether due to hearing impairment or inability to speak and/or comprehend the English language, then you must procure the services of a state-certified interpreter as defined by Government Code §57.001. The Court does not provide interpreters.
SMALL ESTATE AFFIDAVITS
Requirements for Court consideration of Small Estate Affidavits:
- As of October 1, 2014, all newly filed (including Amended) Small Estate Affidavits must be the form provided on this website. (See links below.)
- As of April 15, 2016, Death Certificate must be filed with the County Clerk’s Office or emailed to the Probate Auditor at firstname.lastname@example.org. (If emailing, include the name of the deceased and the Cause/Case Number.)
- Statutorily required Civil Case Information Sheet must be filed. (See link above.)
- Small Estate Affidavit Checklist [PDF]
- Small Estate Affidavit Form [PDF]
- Texas Descent and Distribution Chart [PDF]
MUNIMENT OF TITLE PROCEEDINGS
- Medicaid Estate Recovery Program: See the Court’s policy on Muniments of Title and Medicaid Benefits [PDF]
- Probating a Will more than Four Years after the Death of the Testator:
- Reference “more than four years after death of testator” in the title and body of the application and order.
- Form – Affidavit Waiving Citation and Waiving Objection for Probate of a Will More than Four Years after Decedent’s Death [PDF]
INDEPENDENT ADMINISTRATIONS – WILLS
- Exact names and aliases: The Court requires all pleadings to begin with the exact names as they appear in the Will for the Decedent and Executor, even if the person is now known by another name. The exact name can be followed by the “now known as” name – or any other a/k/a or f/k/a name.
- Alternate Executor: If anyone other than the first-named executor in the Will is being appointed, be sure to include the name of the first-named executor and why he or she cannot serve. Be sure to do the same for all other named executors who will not serve but who have priority over the executor(s) who will serve. This information needs to be included in the application and in the findings section of the order.
- Probating Codicils: Reference “Codicil” in the title of all document(s) as well as in the body.
- Probating a Will that is not Self-Proved and/or a Holographic Will:
- The Court requires all necessary witnesses to be present in Court to give testimony.
- Additionally, all witness testimony shall be reduced to writing.
- Probating a Copy of a Will or Codicil or a Lost Will or Codicil:
- Reference “copy” in the title and body of the application and order. Also, reference “copy” in the body of the proof and oath.
- Physically file the will or codicil copy that is being offered for probate with the County Clerk as if it were an original document. This helps the Court properly evaluate the copy of the Will or Codicil that is being offered for probate.
- Form - Affidavit Waiving Citation for Probate of a Copy of a Lost Will or Codicil or Probate of a Lost Will or Codicil without a Copy [PDF]
The Court will require a dependent administration if a decedent dies intestate and any heirs are minors, unless extraordinary circumstances are brought to the Court’s attention.
- Proposed Judgments for heirship proceedings must comply with the intestate distribution laws. Even if the applicant is claiming the estate consists of only community property, the Judgment must address distribution of separate property as the court is not making a finding as to the character of the property.
- Applicant must appear with two disinterested witnesses to prove up heirship. Additionally, all witness testimony shall be reduced to writing.
- All heirs must waive service, or be in compliance with Estates Code §§ 51.101, 51.051, 51.053, 51.054, 202.051 and 202.054, be served citation via the Fort Bend County Clerk. Return receipts will not be accepted from attorneys.
- All attorneys ad litem appointed in heirship proceedings must e-file a report at least one week prior to the scheduled hearing date.
- An Affidavit of Service of Citation pursuant to Section 202.057 must be e-filed at least one week prior to the scheduled hearing date.
- Do not include the attorney ad litem fee in the Judgment. It will be paid by separate Order.
- When appropriate, include language in the Judgment releasing the attorney ad litem from further duties in the case.
- See Texas Descent and Distribution Chart [PDF]
EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2015
- Under TEC Section 1054.201, all attorneys wishing to serve as an attorney ad litem and all attorneys filing a guardianship application must (i) complete the four-hour certification course, or (ii) complete the one-hour addendum course to supplement the previously required three-hour certification course.
- All applicant attorneys filing a new guardianship proceeding after September 1, 2015, must e-file a copy of this certification along with the application.
Annual Report Form [PDF]
STANDING ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER AND APPLICATION FOR PLACEMENT REQUEST ON CCL#2 AD LITEM LIST
- Ad Litem Application and Attorney Profile Form [PDF}
- Standing Administrative Order; Attorney and Guardian Ad Litem Appointment Lists [PDF]
Note: The Standing Administrative Order required CLE, “Practicing Probate in County Court at Law No. 1 & County Court at Law No. 2” is held in February of each year. This year the CLE will be held on February 19, 2018, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., in County Court at Law No. 1. This annual CLE is required once every 3 years to remain on any CCL #1 or CCL #2 Probate Ad Litem List. Please contact CCL #2 Probate Auditor Brenda Michalik at email@example.com if you have questions for the Court.