Dependent Administration (Fixed Fees Never Available)
A dependent administration is by far the most complicated type of probate in Texas. A dependent administration is needed when there is no valid will, and the heirs cannot agree on who should be appointed as the administrator of the estate, or if there is a minor child who cannot sign legal documents.
Dependent administrations often last 2 to 3 years and cost the estate tens of thousands of dollars. This is because in order for the administrator to act in a dependent administration the administrator must first get permission from the probate judge. This means that any time an administrator wants to pay estate expenses or creditors, sell real estate or other assets, or make distributions to the heirs, the administrator and the probate attorney must request and acquire prior approval by the probate judge.
Dependent administrations are expensive, time-consuming, and should be avoided if at all possible. Unfortunately, for many families that don't prepare in advance with a last will and testament or a revocable living trust, there is often no other alternative.