In Texas, if a debtor dies before the judgment is satisfied, the judgment may be enforced against the estate in probate court. If you are a judgment creditor and the debtor dies, you must take action within a certain time frame to have the judgment enforced by the probate court. But must the judgment be executed by the probate court?
The Basics of Executing a Judgment Against a Deceased Debtor in Texas
If you have a judgment against a debtor who has died, you may be wondering how to go about executing the judgment. In Texas, the probate court is responsible for handling the estate of a deceased person, so you will need to file a request with the court in order to execute the judgment.
There are a few things to keep in mind when executing a judgment against a deceased debtor in Texas. First, you will need to provide the court with a certified copy of the death certificate. Second, you will need to identify any assets that the debtor left behind that could be used to satisfy the judgment. Finally, you will need to file a request with the court and provide all relevant information so that the court can issue an order authorizing you to execute on the judgment.
If you have any questions about executing a judgment against a deceased debtor in Texas, or if you need help getting started, please contact our office. We can help you navigate the process and ensure that everything is done properly.
Probate Court Procedures for Executing a Judgment Against a Deceased Debtor
In Texas, if a debtor dies before the judgment against them is satisfied, the probate court may order that the executor of the debtor’s estate pay the judgment from the estate’s assets. If there are not enough assets in the estate to pay the entire judgment, the court may order that the judgment be paid from the proceeds of any life insurance policies that name the debtor as the beneficiary. If there are still not enough assets to satisfy the judgment, the court may order that creditors be paid on a pro rata basis from what is available.
Estate Law Terminology
Joint and Several Judgment:
Means that each party is independently liable for the full extent of the injuries originating from the incident.
Writs of garnishment:
Requests that a third party to either take action or refrain from doing something.
Probate Case Law
Mackey v. Lucey Products Corp., 150 Tex. 188, 239 S.W.2d 607 (1951)
Facts & Procedural History
Lucey Products Corporation (Plaintiff) sued L.T. Mackey and another individual (Defendants). Plaintiff recovered a joint and several judgment against Defendants, and then filed its affidavit for a writ of garnishment. The trial court quashed the affidavit and writs of garnishment and dismissed the case. Plaintiff appealed, and the Court of Civil Appeals reversed the judgment and remanded the case back to the trial court. Defendants appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court, holding that it was not necessary for one of the joint judgment debtors to be named in the application for the writ of garnishment because he had passed away bankrupt and was a resident of another state.
The Takeaway: Filing a judgment
Mackey v. Lucey Products Corp. shows that, when a debtor dies, a judgment against him must be executed by the probate court. An execution issued against the debtor’s estate, and any subsequent sale of property, will be considered void.
In Texas, a judgment against a deceased debtor must be executed by the probate court. This is because the estate of the debtor is responsible for paying off the debt. If you have a judgment against a deceased debtor in Texas, you will need to file a claim with the probate court in order to collect on the debt.
Do you need to hire an Experienced Probate Attorney to help settle an estate?
When a debtor dies, any outstanding debts they owed must still be settled. In Texas, this is typically done through the probate process. In order to have a judgment against a deceased debtor executed by the probate court, certain requirements must be met.
First, the executor of the estate must file a petition with the court. This petition must include information about the debtor, the outstanding debt, and why execution of the judgment is necessary. Once the petition is filed, notice must be given to all interested parties.
After all interested parties have been given notice, a hearing will be held. At this hearing, the court will decide whether or not to grant execution of the judgment. If execution is granted, a writ of execution will be issued and can be used to collect on the debt.
If you are an executor of an estate in Texas and need help settling a debt, it is important to hire an experienced probate attorney. Probate can be a complex process and an attorney can help make sure that all requirements are met and that your rights are protected. Call us today for a FREE consultation. (210) 436-6601.
How long do creditors have to collect a debt from an estate in Texas? Is there a fixed time?
If a person dies owing money to creditors, those creditors may still attempt to collect the debt from the estate. In Texas, creditors have a fixed time from the date of the debtor’s death to file a claim against the estate. Once a claim is filed, the probate court will determine whether or not the debt is valid and should be paid. If the court finds that the debt is valid, it will order the estate to pay the debt. The executor of the estate is responsible for ensuring that all debts of the deceased are paid before distributing any assets to beneficiaries.
Is probate court required in Texas?
No, probate court is not required in Texas. However, if you are seeking to collect a judgment against a deceased debtor, you may need to open an estate in probate court in order to do so.
What assets do not go through the probate process in Texas?
It is a common misconception that all assets must go through the probate process in Texas. However, there are certain types of assets that do not have to go through probate. These might include:
- Property that is jointly owned with someone else and has a right of survivorship
- Property that is held in a trust
- Property that is owned by a business entity, such as a corporation or partnership
- Retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k)s
- Life insurance policies with named beneficiaries
If you have any questions about whether or not an asset will have to go through probate, it’s best to consult with an experienced probate attorney.
How long do you have to file for a probate hearing after death?
You generally have to file for a probate hearing within four years of the debtor’s death, but if you have a good reason for missing the deadline, the court may still hear your case. For example, if you only recently learned of the debt or were unable to locate the debtor’s estate, you may be able to get an extension.
Of course, that only applies of there is a will. If there is no will, there is no time period.
How to probate a will in Texas?
If you’re named in a will as an executor, or if you’re the closest relative of someone who died without a will, you’ll need to follow the probate process. Probate is the legal process of proving that a will is valid and of administering the estate of a deceased person. In Texas, the probate process generally takes place in the county where the deceased person lived.
The first step in probating a will is to file it with the probate court, along with a petition to open probate. The petition must be filed by an executor or administrator, who is appointed by the court to manage the estate. The executor or administrator must also give notice to all interested parties, such as heirs and creditors.
Once probate is open, the executor or administrator will inventory the assets of the estate and pay any debts and taxes owed. The remaining assets will then be distributed to the beneficiaries named in the will. If there is no will, the assets will go to the deceased person’s closest relatives.