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Independent vs. dependent estate administration

On Behalf of | May 19, 2016 | Probate & Estate Administration |

If you are like most people you probably are unfamiliar with probate in general, let alone the difference between independent and dependent estate administration. In general, more court oversight is required in dependent estate administration. It is important, however, to further understand what distinguishes these two options and the requirements of each. This is particularly true if you are the executor of an estate.

Independent administration

Probate courts allow an independent administration when all the beneficiaries file written consents, or when the decedent’s will designates it. The decreased oversight by the court results in time and cost savings. An independent administrator does not need approval from the court to take certain steps on behalf of the estate. This includes actions like paying debts, transferring title or selling property.

An independent administrator must retain an attorney in most probate courts. Both Bexar Probate Courts 1 and 2 in San Antonio require the involvement of a probate lawyer throughout the administration.

Dependent administration

Dependent administration is often necessary when there are disputes among beneficiaries or court oversight is otherwise required. If the estate has large debts, the stricter requirements for creditors may make dependent administration a better option.

In contrast to an independent administrator, a dependent administrator needs court approval for transactions like selling assets and paying debts. This results in the need for more legal documents and hearings. Probate courts require a dependant administrator to have the assistance of an attorney throughout the process.

The administration of an estate can seem overwhelming, but a knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate through the process effectively. At Aldrich Law PLLC the focus of our practice is probate law. We offer experienced representation for both types of estate administration.