Texas Laws - Probate Code

Sec. 194. BONDS OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES OF ESTATES. Except when bond is not required under the provisions of this Code, before the issuance of letters testamentary or of administration, the recipient of letters shall enter into bond conditioned as required by law, payable to the county judge or probate judge of the county in which the probate proceedings are pending and to his successors in office. (1845)(1-click HTML)

Such bonds shall bear the written approval of either of such judges in his official capacity, and shall be executed and approved in accordance with the following rules: (1846)

1. Court to Fix Penalty. The penalty of the bond shall be fixed by the judge, in an amount deemed sufficient to protect the estate and its creditors, as hereinafter provided. (1847)

2. Bond to Protect Creditors Only, When. If the person to whom letters testamentary or of administration is granted is also entitled to all of the decedent's estate, after payment of debts, the bond shall be in an amount sufficient to protect creditors only, notwithstanding the rules applicable generally to bonds of personal representatives of estates. (1848)

3. Before Fixing Penalty, Court to Hear Evidence. In any case where a bond is, or shall be, required of a personal representative of an estate, the court shall, before fixing the penalty of the bond, hear evidence and determine: (1849)

(a) The amount of cash on hand and where deposited, and the amount of cash estimated to be needed for administrative purposes, including operation of a business, factory, farm or ranch owned by the estate, and expenses of administration for one (1) year; and (1850)

(b) The revenue anticipated to be received in the succeeding twelve (12) months from dividends, interest, rentals, or use of real or personal property belonging to the estate and the aggregate amount of any installments or periodical payments to be collected; and (1851)

(c) The estimated value of certificates of stock, bonds, notes, or securities of the estate or ward, the name of the depository, if any, in which said assets are held for safekeeping, the face value of life insurance or other policies payable to the person on whose estate administration is sought, or to such estate, and such other personal property as is owned by the estate, or by one under disability; and (1852)

(d) The estimated amount of debts due and owing by the estate or ward. (1853)

4. Penalty of Bond. The penalty of the bond shall be fixed by the judge in an amount equal to the estimated value of all personal property belonging to the estate, or to the person under disability, together with an additional amount to cover revenue anticipated to be derived during the succeeding twelve (12) months from interest, dividends, collectible claims, the aggregate amount of any installments or periodical payments exclusive of income derived or to be derived from federal social security payments, and rentals for use of real and personal property; provided, that the penalty of the original bond shall be reduced in proportion to the amount of cash or value of securities or other assets authorized or required to be deposited or placed in safekeeping by order of court, or voluntarily made by the representative or by his sureties as hereinafter provided in Subdivisions 6 and 7 hereof. (1854)

5. Agreement as to Deposit of Assets. It shall be lawful, and the court may require such action when deemed in the best interest of an estate, for a personal representative to agree with the surety or sureties, either corporate or personal, for the deposit of any or all cash, and safekeeping of other assets of the estate in a financial institution as defined by Section 201.101, Finance Code, with its main office or a branch office in this state and qualified to act as a depository in this State under the laws of this State or of the United States, if such deposit is otherwise proper, in such manner as to prevent the withdrawal of such moneys or other assets without the written consent of the surety, or an order of the court made on such notice to the surety as the court shall direct. No such agreement shall in any manner release from or change the liability of the principal or sureties as established by the terms of the bond. (1855)

6. Deposits Authorized or Required, When. Cash or securities or other personal assets of an estate or which an estate is entitled to receive may, and if deemed by the court in the best interest of such estate shall, be deposited or placed in safekeeping as the case may be, in one or more of the depositories hereinabove described upon such terms as shall be prescribed by the court. The court in which the proceedings are pending, upon its own motion, or upon written application of the representative or of any other person interested in the estate may authorize or require additional assets of the estate then on hand or as they accrue during the pendency of the probate proceedings to be deposited or held in safekeeping as provided above. The amount of the bond of the personal representative shall be reduced in proportion to the cash so deposited, or the value of the securities or other assets placed in safekeeping. Such cash so deposited, or securities or other assets held in safekeeping, or portions thereof, may be withdrawn from a depository only upon order of the court, and the bond of the personal representative shall be increased in proportion to the amount of cash or the value of securities or other assets so authorized to be withdrawn. (1856)

7. Representative May Deposit Cash or Securities of His Own in Lieu of Bond. It shall be lawful for the personal representative of an estate, in lieu of giving surety or sureties on any bond which shall be required of him, or for the purpose of reducing the amount of such bond, to deposit out of his own assets cash or securities acceptable to the court, with a depository such as named above or with any other corporate depository approved by the court, if such deposit is otherwise proper, said deposit to be equal in amount or value to the amount of the bond required, or the bond reduced by the value of assets so deposited. (1857)

8. Rules Applicable to Making and Handling Deposits in Lieu of Bond or to Reduce Penal Sum of Bond. (a) A receipt for a deposit in lieu of surety or sureties shall be issued by the depository, showing the amount of cash or, if securities, the amount and description thereof, and agreeing not to disburse or deliver the same except upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of the court in which the proceedings are pending, and such receipt shall be attached to the representative's bond and be delivered to and filed by the county clerk after approval by the judge. (1858)

(b) The amount of cash or securities on deposit may be increased or decreased, by order of the court from time to time, as the interest of the estate shall require. (1859)

(c) Deposits in lieu of sureties on bonds, whether of cash or securities, may be withdrawn or released only on order of a court having jurisdiction. (1860)

(d) Creditors shall have the same rights against the representative and such deposits as are provided for recovery against sureties on a bond. (1861)

(e) The court may on its own motion, or upon written application by the representative or by any other person interested in the estate, require that adequate bond be given by the representative in lieu of such deposit, or authorize withdrawal of the deposit and substitution of a bond with sureties therefor. In either case, the representative shall file a sworn statement showing the condition of the estate, and unless the same be filed within twenty (20) days after being personally served with notice of the filing of an application by another, or entry of the court's motion, he shall be subject to removal as in other cases. The deposit may not be released or withdrawn until the court has been satisfied as to the condition of the estate, has determined the amount of bond, and has received and approved the bond. (1862)

9. Withdrawal of Deposits When Estate Closed. Upon the closing of an estate, any such deposit or portion thereof remaining on hand, whether of the assets of the representative, or of the assets of the estate, or of the surety, shall be released by order of court and paid over to the person or persons entitled thereto. No writ of attachment or garnishment shall lie against the deposit, except as to claims of creditors of the estate being administered, or persons interested therein, including distributees and wards, and then only in the event distribution has been ordered by the court, and to the extent only of such distribution as shall have been ordered. (1863)

10. Who May Act as Sureties. The surety or sureties on said bonds may be authorized corporate sureties, or personal sureties. (1864)

11. Procedure When Bond Exceeds Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000). When any such bond shall exceed Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000) in penal sum, the court may require that such bond be signed by two (2) or more authorized corporate sureties, or by one such surety and two (2) or more good and sufficient personal sureties. The estate shall pay the cost of a bond with corporate sureties. (1865)

12. Qualifications of Personal Sureties. If the sureties be natural persons, there shall not be less than two (2), each of whom shall make affidavit in the manner prescribed in this Code, and the judge shall be satisfied that he owns property within this State, over and above that exempt by law, sufficient to qualify as a surety as required by law. Except as provided by law, only one surety is required if the surety is an authorized corporate surety; provided, a personal surety, instead of making affidavit, or creating a lien on specific real estate when such is required, may, in the same manner as a personal representative, deposit his own cash or securities, in lieu of pledging real property as security, subject, so far as applicable, to the provisions covering such deposits when made by personal representatives. (1866)

13. Bonds of Temporary Appointees. In case of a temporary administrator, the bond shall be in such sum as the judge shall direct. (1867)

14. Increased or Additional Bonds When Property Sold, Rented, Leased for Mineral Development, or Money Borrowed or Invested. The provisions in this Section with respect to deposit of cash and safekeeping of securities shall cover, so far as they may be applicable, the orders to be entered by the court when real or personal property of an estate has been authorized to be sold or rented, or money borrowed thereon, or when real property, or an interest therein, has been authorized to be leased for mineral development or subjected to unitization, the general bond having been found insufficient. (1868)

Acts 1955, 54th Leg., p. 88, ch. 55, eff. Jan. 1, 1956. Amended by Acts 1957, 55th Leg., p. 53, ch. 31, Sec. 6(b), eff. Aug. 22, 1957; Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 983, ch. 173, Sec. 14, eff. Jan. 1, 1972; Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1754, ch. 713, Sec. 25, eff. Aug. 27, 1979; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 957, Sec. 31, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 344, Sec. 6.003, eff; Sept; 1, 1999. (1869)

Text of article effective until January 01, 2014 (1870)


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