Sections
Chapter 251 Fundamental Requirements and Provisions Relating to Wills 251.001 – 251.107
Chapter 252 Safekeeping and Custody of Wills 252.001 – 252.204
Chapter 253 Change and Revocation of Wills 253.001 – 253.002
Chapter 254 Validity of Certain Provisions In, and Contracts Relating To, Wills 254.001 – 254.005
Chapter 254 Certain Provisions In, and Contracts Relating To, Wills 254.001 – 254.006
Chapter 255 Construction and Interpretation of Wills 255.052 – 255.002
Chapter 256 Probate of Wills Generally 256.001 – 256.204
Chapter 257 Probate of Will as Muniment of Title 257.001 – 257.152
Chapter 258 Citations and Notices Relating to Probate of Will 258.001 – 258.101

Terms Used In Texas Estates Code > Title 2 > Subtitle F

  • Advice and consent: Under the Constitution, presidential nominations for executive and judicial posts take effect only when confirmed by the Senate, and international treaties become effective only when the Senate approves them by a two-thirds vote.
  • Amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
  • Appraisal: A determination of property value.
  • Artificial swimming lagoon: means an artificial body of water used for recreational purposes with more than 20,000 square feet of surface area, an artificial liner, and a method of disinfectant. See Texas Health and Safety Code 1.005
  • Attachment: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
  • Bail: Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
  • Beneficiary: A person who is entitled to receive the benefits or proceeds of a will, trust, insurance policy, retirement plan, annuity, or other contract. Source: OCC
  • Bequest: Property gifted by will.
  • Chambers: A judge's office.
  • Charitable organization: means :
    (1) a nonprofit corporation, trust, community chest, fund, foundation, or other entity that is:
    (A) exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(a), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, by being described by Section 501(c)(3) of that code; and
    (B) organized and operated exclusively for:
    (i) religious, charitable, scientific, educational, or literary purposes;
    (ii) testing for public safety;
    (iii) preventing cruelty to children or animals; or
    (iv) promoting amateur sports competition; or
    (2) any other entity that is organized and operated exclusively for the purposes listed in Section 501(c)(3), Internal Revenue Code of 1986. See Texas Estates Code 22.003
  • Child: includes an adopted child, regardless of whether the adoption occurred through:
    (1) an existing or former statutory procedure; or
    (2) an equitable adoption or acts of estoppel. See Texas Estates Code 22.004
  • City secretary: includes a city clerk or, in a city that has no city secretary or clerk, the city officer who performs the duties of a city secretary. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Claims: includes :
    (1) liabilities of a decedent that survive the decedent's death, including taxes, regardless of whether the liabilities arise in contract or tort or otherwise;
    (2) funeral expenses;
    (3) the expense of a tombstone;
    (4) expenses of administration;
    (5) estate and inheritance taxes; and
    (6) debts due such estates. See Texas Estates Code 22.005
  • Codicil: An addition, change, or supplement to a will executed with the same formalities required for the will itself.
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • County election precinct: means an election precinct established under Section Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Court: means and includes:
    (1) a county court in the exercise of its probate jurisdiction;
    (2) a court created by statute and authorized to exercise original probate jurisdiction; and
    (3) a district court exercising original probate jurisdiction in a contested matter. See Texas Estates Code 22.007
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Decedent: A deceased person.
  • Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Department: means the Department of Agriculture. See Texas Agriculture Code 1.003
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Deposition: An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.
  • Devise: To gift property by will.
  • Devisee: includes a legatee. See Texas Estates Code 22.009
  • Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
  • Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
  • Distributee: means a person who is entitled to a part of the estate of a decedent under a lawful will or the statutes of descent and distribution. See Texas Estates Code 22.010
  • Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
  • Effects: includes all personal property and all interest in that property. See Texas Government Code 312.011
  • Entitlement: A Federal program or provision of law that requires payments to any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility criteria established by law. Entitlements constitute a binding obligation on the part of the Federal Government, and eligible recipients have legal recourse if the obligation is not fulfilled. Social Security and veterans' compensation and pensions are examples of entitlement programs.
  • Equitable: Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. See damages. A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. See, e.g., injunction. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. Source: U.S. Courts
  • Estate: means a decedent's property, as that property:
    (1) exists originally and as the property changes in form by sale, reinvestment, or otherwise;
    (2) is augmented by any accretions and other additions to the property, including any property to be distributed to the decedent's representative by the trustee of a trust that terminates on the decedent's death, and substitutions for the property; and
    (3) is diminished by any decreases in or distributions from the property. See Texas Estates Code 22.012
  • Ex officio: Literally, by virtue of one's office.
  • Executor: A male person named in a will to carry out the decedent
  • Fair market value: The price at which an asset would change hands in a transaction between a willing, informed buyer and a willing, informed seller.
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: A government corporation that insures the deposits of all national and state banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System. Source: OCC
  • Federal Reserve System: The central bank of the United States. The Fed, as it is commonly called, regulates the U.S. monetary and financial system. The Federal Reserve System is composed of a central governmental agency in Washington, D.C. (the Board of Governors) and twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks in major cities throughout the United States. Source: OCC
  • Fee simple: Absolute title to property with no limitations or restrictions regarding the person who may inherit it.
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
  • Fixed Rate: Having a "fixed" rate means that the APR doesn't change based on fluctuations of some external rate (such as the "Prime Rate"). In other words, a fixed rate is a rate that is not a variable rate. A fixed APR can change over time, in several circumstances:
    • You are late making a payment or commit some other default, triggering an increase to a penalty rate
    • The bank changes the terms of your account and you do not reject the change.
    • The rate expires (if the rate was fixed for only a certain period of time).
  • Forgery: The fraudulent signing or alteration of another's name to an instrument such as a deed, mortgage, or check. The intent of the forgery is to deceive or defraud. Source: OCC
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • General election: means an election, other than a primary election, that regularly recurs at fixed dates. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • General election for state and county officers: means the general election at which officers of the federal, state, and county governments are elected. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Governmental agency of the state: means :
    (1) a municipality;
    (2) a county;
    (3) a public school district;
    (4) a special-purpose district or authority;
    (5) a board, commission, department, office, or other agency in the executive branch of state government, including an institution of higher education, as defined by Section Texas Estates Code 22.014
  • Grantor: The person who establishes a trust and places property into it.
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Heir: means a person who is entitled under the statutes of descent and distribution to a part of the estate of a decedent who dies intestate. See Texas Estates Code 22.015
  • Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
  • Interest rate: The amount paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of the lender's money for a certain period of time. Interest is paid on loans or on debt instruments, such as notes or bonds, either at regular intervals or as part of a lump sum payment when the issue matures. Source: OCC
  • Interrogatories: Written questions asked by one party of an opposing party, who must answer them in writing under oath; a discovery device in a lawsuit.
  • Intestate: Dying without leaving a will.
  • Irrevocable trust: A trust arrangement that cannot be revoked, rescinded, or repealed by the grantor.
  • Judge: means the presiding judge of any court having original jurisdiction over probate proceedings, regardless of whether the court is:
    (1) a county court in the exercise of its probate jurisdiction;
    (2) a court created by statute and authorized to exercise probate jurisdiction; or
    (3) a district court exercising probate jurisdiction in a contested matter. See Texas Estates Code 22.019
  • Justice: when applied to a magistrate, means justice of the peace. See Texas Government Code 312.011
  • Law: means a constitution, statute, city charter, or city ordinance. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
  • lien: include :
    (1) a deed of trust;
    (2) a vendor's lien, a mechanic's, materialman's, or laborer's lien, an attachment or garnishment lien, and a federal or state tax lien;
    (3) a chattel mortgage;
    (4) a judgment; and
    (5) a pledge by hypothecation. See Texas Estates Code 22.024
  • Life estate: A property interest limited in duration to the life of the individual holding the interest (life tenant).
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • Livestock: means cattle, horses, mules, asses, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, exotic livestock, including elk and elk hybrids, and hogs, unless otherwise defined. See Texas Agriculture Code 1.003
  • Local canvass: means the canvass of the precinct election returns. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Measure: means a question or proposal submitted in an election for an expression of the voters' will. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Minor: means a person younger than 18 years of age who:
    (1) has never been married; and
    (2) has not had the disabilities of minority removed for general purposes. See Texas Estates Code 22.022
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • Month: means a calendar month. See Texas Government Code 312.011
  • Oath: includes affirmation. See Texas Government Code 311.005
  • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • Outlays: Outlays are payments made (generally through the issuance of checks or disbursement of cash) to liquidate obligations. Outlays during a fiscal year may be for payment of obligations incurred in prior years or in the same year.
  • Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • Per stirpes: The legal means by which the children of a decedent, upon the death of an ancestor at a level above that of the decedent, receive by right of representation the share of the ancestor
  • Person: includes a natural person and a corporation. See Texas Estates Code 22.027
  • person interested: means :
    (1) an heir, devisee, spouse, creditor, or any other having a property right in or claim against an estate being administered; and
    (2) anyone interested in the welfare of an incapacitated person, including a minor. See Texas Estates Code 22.018
  • Personal property: includes an interest in:
    (1) goods;
    (2) money;
    (3) a chose in action;
    (4) an evidence of debt; and
    (5) a real chattel. See Texas Estates Code 22.028
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • personal representative: include :
    (1) an executor and independent executor;
    (2) an administrator, independent administrator, and temporary administrator; and
    (3) a successor to an executor or administrator listed in Subdivision (1) or (2). See Texas Estates Code 22.031
  • Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
  • Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
  • Political subdivision: means a county, city, or school district or any other governmental entity that:
    (A) embraces a geographic area with a defined boundary;
    (B) exists for the purpose of discharging functions of government; and
    (C) possesses authority for subordinate self-government through officers selected by it. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Power of attorney: A written instrument which authorizes one person to act as another's agent or attorney. The power of attorney may be for a definite, specific act, or it may be general in nature. The terms of the written power of attorney may specify when it will expire. If not, the power of attorney usually expires when the person granting it dies. Source: OCC
  • Precedent: A court decision in an earlier case with facts and law similar to a dispute currently before a court. Precedent will ordinarily govern the decision of a later similar case, unless a party can show that it was wrongly decided or that it differed in some significant way.
  • Presiding officer: A majority-party Senator who presides over the Senate and is charged with maintaining order and decorum, recognizing Members to speak, and interpreting the Senate's rules, practices and precedents.
  • Primary election: means an election held by a political party under Chapter Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
  • Proposition: means the wording appearing on a ballot to identify a measure. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Quorum: The number of legislators that must be present to do business.
  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • Real property: includes estates and interests in land, whether corporeal or incorporeal or legal or equitable. See Texas Estates Code 22.030
  • Recess: A temporary interruption of the legislative business.
  • Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
  • Residence address: means the street address and any apartment number, or the address at which mail is received if the residence has no address, and the city, state, and zip code that correspond to a person's residence. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Service of process: The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.
  • Signed: includes any symbol executed or adopted by a person with present intention to authenticate a writing. See Texas Government Code 311.005
  • Statewide office: means an office of the federal or state government that is voted on statewide. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
  • Statutory probate court: means a court created by statute and designated as a statutory probate court under Chapter Texas Estates Code 22.007
  • Straight-party vote: means a vote by a single mark, punch, or other action by the voter for all the nominees of one political party and for no other candidates. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
  • sworn: includes affirm or affirmed. See Texas Government Code 312.011
  • Temporary restraining order: Prohibits a person from an action that is likely to cause irreparable harm. This differs from an injunction in that it may be granted immediately, without notice to the opposing party, and without a hearing. It is intended to last only until a hearing can be held.
  • Testator: A male person who leaves a will at death.
  • Testify: Answer questions in court.
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
  • Transcript: A written, word-for-word record of what was said, either in a proceeding such as a trial or during some other conversation, as in a transcript of a hearing or oral deposition.
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
  • Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
  • Ward: means a person for whom a guardian has been appointed. See Texas Estates Code 22.033
  • Week: means seven consecutive days. See Texas Government Code 311.005
  • Writ: A formal written command, issued from the court, requiring the performance of a specific act.