This website will be unavailable from Thursday, May 30, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. through Monday, June 3, 2024 at 7:00 a.m. due to data center maintenance.

 
 
  H.B. No. 2207
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to procedures and fees for the deposit and safekeeping of
  wills.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 252.001, Estates Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (a-1) and amending Subsection (b) to read as
  follows:
         (a-1)  An attorney, business entity, or other person in
  possession of a testator's will may deposit the will with the county
  clerk of the county of the testator's last known residence if the
  attorney, business entity, or other person is unable to maintain
  custody of the will and, after a diligent search, the attorney,
  business entity, or other person is not able to contact or locate
  the testator.  The attorney, business entity, or other person shall
  provide to the county clerk at the time the will is deposited:
               (1)  the name and last known address of the testator;
  and
               (2)  if the will names an executor, the name and last
  known address, if available, of each executor named in the will,
  including any alternate executors.
         (b)  The county clerk shall receive and keep a [the] will
  deposited under this section on the payment of a $5 fee.
         SECTION 2.  Section 252.002, Estates Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (c) to read as
  follows:
         (b)  The wrapper of a will deposited under Section 252.001(a)
  must be endorsed with:
               (1)  "Will of," followed by the name, address, and
  signature of the testator; and
               (2)  the name and current address of each person who is
  to be notified of the deposit of the will after the testator's
  death.
         (c)  The wrapper of a will deposited under Section
  252.001(a-1) must be endorsed with:
               (1)  "Will of," followed by the name and last known
  address of the testator; and
               (2)  if the will names an executor, the name and last
  known address, if available, of each executor named in the will,
  including any alternate executors.
         SECTION 3.  Section 252.101, Estates Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 252.101.  NOTIFICATION BY COUNTY CLERK. A county clerk
  shall notify[, by registered mail, return receipt requested,] each
  person named on the endorsement of the will wrapper that the will is
  on deposit in the clerk's office if:
               (1)  an affidavit is submitted to the clerk stating
  that the testator has died; or
               (2)  the clerk receives other notice or proof of the
  testator's death sufficient to convince the clerk that the testator
  has died.
         SECTION 4.  Section 252.104, Estates Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 252.104.  NOTICE AND DELIVERY OF WILL TO EXECUTOR. If a
  county clerk inspects a will under Section 252.103 and the will
  names an executor, the clerk shall:
               (1)  notify the person named as executor[, by
  registered mail, return receipt requested,] that the will is on
  deposit with the clerk; and
               (2)  deliver, on request, the will to the person named
  as executor.
         SECTION 5.  Section 252.105(a), Estates Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  If a county clerk inspects a will under Section 252.103,
  the clerk shall notify [by registered mail, return receipt
  requested,] the devisees named in the will that the will is on
  deposit with the clerk if:
               (1)  the will does not name an executor;
               (2)  the person named as executor in the will:
                     (A)  has died; or
                     (B)  fails to take the will before the 31st day
  after the date the notice required by Section 252.104 is mailed to
  the person; or
               (3)  the notice mailed to the person named as executor
  is returned as undelivered.
         SECTION 6.  Section 252.151, Estates Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 252.151.  DEPOSIT HAS NO LEGAL SIGNIFICANCE. The
  provisions of Subchapter A providing for the deposit of a will with
  a county clerk [during the lifetime of a testator] are solely for
  the purpose of providing a safe and convenient repository for a
  will.  For purposes of probate, a will deposited as provided by
  Subchapter A may not be treated differently than a will that has not
  been deposited.
         SECTION 7.  Section 252.201, Estates Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 252.201.  WILL DELIVERY. (a) On receiving notice of a
  testator's death, the person who has custody of the testator's will
  shall deliver the will to the clerk of the court that has
  jurisdiction of the testator's estate.
         (b)  The clerk of the court shall handle the will in the same
  manner prescribed by Subchapter A for a will deposited under
  Section 252.001 other than collection of a fee under Section
  252.001(b).
         SECTION 8.  Subchapter E, Chapter 252, Estates Code, is
  amended by adding Section 252.2015 to read as follows:
         Sec. 252.2015.  NOTICE AND DELIVERY OF WILL TO EXECUTOR OR
  DEVISEES. (a)  On the deposit of a will under Section 252.201 that
  names an executor, the clerk of the court shall:
               (1)  notify the person named as executor in the manner
  prescribed by Section 252.104; and
               (2)  deliver, on request, the will to the person named
  as executor.
         (b)  On the deposit of a will under Section 252.201, the
  clerk of the court shall notify the devisees named in the will in
  the manner prescribed by Section 252.105(a) if:
               (1)  the will does not name an executor;
               (2)  the person named as executor in the will:
                     (A)  has died; or
                     (B)  fails to take the will before the 31st day
  after the date the notice required by Subsection (a) is mailed to
  the person; or
               (3)  the notice mailed to the person named as executor
  is returned as undelivered.
         (c)  On request, the clerk of the court shall deliver the
  will to any or all of the devisees notified under Subsection (b).
         SECTION 9.  Section 101.0815, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 101.0815.  STATUTORY COUNTY COURT FEES AND COSTS:
  ESTATES CODE.  The clerk of a statutory county court shall collect
  fees and costs under the Estates Code as follows:
               (1)  fee for deposit of a will with the county clerk by
  a testator or another person for a testator during the testator's
  lifetime or by an attorney, business entity, or other person unable
  to maintain custody of a testator's will and unable to contact or
  locate the testator (Sec. 252.001, Estates Code) . . . $5;
               (2)  security deposit on filing, by any person other
  than the personal representative of an estate, an application,
  complaint, or opposition in relation to the estate, if required by
  the clerk (Sec. 53.052, Estates Code) . . . probable cost of the
  proceeding;
               (3)  fee on filing an application, complaint, petition,
  or other paper in a guardianship proceeding, which includes a
  deposit for payment to an attorney ad litem (Sec. 1052.051, Estates
  Code) . . . cost of filing and payment of attorney ad litem;
               (4)  security deposit on filing, by any person other
  than the guardian, attorney ad litem, or guardian ad litem, an
  application, complaint, or opposition in relation to a guardianship
  matter, if required by the clerk (Sec. 1053.052, Estates Code)
  . . . probable cost of the guardianship proceeding;
               (5)  nonrefundable fee to cover the cost of
  administering Subchapter G, Chapter 1104, Estates Code
  (Sec. 1104.303, Estates Code) . . . $40; and
               (6)  costs for attorney ad litem appointed to pursue
  the restoration of a ward's capacity or modification of the ward's
  guardianship (Sec. 1202.102, Estates Code) . . . reasonable
  compensation.
         SECTION 10.  Section 101.1014, Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         Sec. 101.1014.  STATUTORY PROBATE COURT FEES AND COSTS:
  ESTATES CODE.  The clerk of a statutory probate court shall collect
  fees and costs under the Estates Code as follows:
               (1)  fee for deposit of a will with the county clerk by
  a testator or another person for a testator during the testator's
  lifetime or by an attorney, business entity, or other person unable
  to maintain custody of a testator's will and unable to contact or
  locate the testator (Sec. 252.001, Estates Code) . . . $5;
               (2)  security deposit on filing, by any person other
  than the personal representative of an estate, an application,
  complaint, or opposition in relation to the estate, if required by
  the clerk (Sec. 53.052, Estates Code) . . . probable cost of the
  proceeding;
               (3)  fee on filing an application, complaint, petition,
  or other paper in a guardianship proceeding, which includes a
  deposit for payment to an attorney ad litem (Sec. 1052.051, Estates
  Code) . . . cost of filing and payment of attorney ad litem;
               (4)  security deposit on filing, by any person other
  than the guardian, attorney ad litem, or guardian ad litem, an
  application, complaint, or opposition in relation to a guardianship
  matter, if required by the clerk (Sec. 1053.052, Estates Code)
  . . . probable cost of the guardianship proceeding;
               (5)  nonrefundable fee to cover the cost of
  administering Subchapter G, Chapter 1104, Estates Code
  (Sec. 1104.303, Estates Code) . . . $40; and
               (6)  costs for attorney ad litem appointed to pursue
  the restoration of a ward's capacity or modification of the ward's
  guardianship (Sec. 1202.102, Estates Code) . . . reasonable
  compensation.
         SECTION 11.  Section 101.1215, Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         Sec. 101.1215.  COUNTY COURT FEES AND COSTS: ESTATES CODE.  
  The clerk of a county court shall collect the following fees and
  costs under the Estates Code:
               (1)  fee for deposit of a will with the county clerk by
  a testator or another person for a testator during the testator's
  lifetime or by an attorney, business entity, or other person unable
  to maintain custody of a testator's will and unable to contact or
  locate the testator (Sec. 252.001, Estates Code) . . . $5;
               (2)  security deposit on filing, by any person other
  than the personal representative of an estate, an application,
  complaint, or opposition in relation to the estate, if required by
  the clerk (Sec. 53.052, Estates Code) . . . probable cost of the
  proceeding;
               (3)  fee on filing an application, complaint, petition,
  or other paper in a guardianship proceeding, which includes a
  deposit for payment to an attorney ad litem (Sec. 1052.051, Estates
  Code) . . . cost of filing and payment of attorney ad litem;
               (4)  security deposit on filing, by any person other
  than the guardian, attorney ad litem, or guardian ad litem, an
  application, complaint, or opposition in relation to a guardianship
  matter, if required by the clerk (Sec. 1053.052, Estates Code)
  . . . probable cost of the guardianship proceeding;
               (5)  nonrefundable fee to cover the cost of
  administering Subchapter G, Chapter 1104, Estates Code
  (Sec. 1104.303, Estates Code) . . . $40; and
               (6)  costs for attorney ad litem appointed to pursue
  the restoration of a ward's capacity or modification of the ward's
  guardianship (Sec. 1202.102, Estates Code) . . . reasonable
  compensation.
         SECTION 12.  Section 118.052, Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 118.052.  FEE SCHEDULE. Each clerk of a county court
  shall collect the following fees for services rendered to any
  person:
               (1)  CIVIL COURT ACTIONS
                     (A)  Filing of Original Action (Sec. 118.053):
                           (i)  Garnishment after judgment . . . $15.00
                           (ii)  All others . . . $40.00
                     (B)  Filing of Action Other than Original (Sec.
  118.054) . . . $30.00
                     (C)  Services Rendered After Judgment in Original
  Action (Sec. 118.0545):
                           (i)  Abstract of judgment . . . $ 5.00
                           (ii)  Execution, order of sale, writ, or
  other process . . . $ 5.00
               (2)  PROBATE COURT ACTIONS
                     (A)  Probate Original Action (Sec. 118.055):
                           (i)  Probate of a will with independent
  executor, administration with will attached, administration of an
  estate, guardianship or receivership of an estate, or muniment of
  title . . . $40.00
                           (ii)  Community survivors . . . $40.00
                           (iii)  Small estates . . . $40.00
                           (iv)  Declarations of heirship . . . $40.00
                           (v)  Mental health or chemical dependency
  services . . . $40.00
                           (vi)  Additional, special fee (Sec. 118.064)
  . . . $ 5.00
                     (B)  Services in Pending Probate Action (Sec.
  118.056):
                           (i)  Filing an inventory and appraisement as
  provided by Section 118.056(d) . . . $25.00
                           (ii)  Approving and recording bond . . .
  $ 3.00
                           (iii)  Administering oath . . . $ 2.00
                           (iv)  Filing annual or final account of
  estate . . . $25.00
                           (v)  Filing application for sale of real or
  personal property . . . $25.00
                           (vi)  Filing annual or final report of
  guardian of a person . . . $10.00
                           (vii)  Filing a document not listed under
  this paragraph after the filing of an order approving the inventory
  and appraisement or after the 120th day after the date of the
  initial filing of the action, whichever occurs first, if more than
  25 pages . . . $25.00
                     (C)  Adverse Probate Action (Sec. 118.057) . . .
  $40.00
                     (D)  Claim Against Estate (Sec. 118.058) . . .
  $10.00
                     (E)  Supplemental Court-Initiated Guardianship
  Fee in Probate Original Actions and Adverse Probate Actions
  (Sec. 118.067) . . . $20.00
                     (F)  Supplemental Public Probate Administrator
  Fee For Counties That Have Appointed a Public Probate Administrator
  (Sec. 118.068) . . . $10.00
               (3)  OTHER FEES
                     (A)  Issuing Document (Sec. 118.059):
         original document and one copy . . . $ 4.00
         each additional set of an original and one copy . . . $ 4.00
                     (B)  Certified Papers (Sec. 118.060):
         for the clerk's certificate . . . $ 5.00
         plus a fee per page or part of a page of . . . $ 1.00
                     (C)  Noncertified Papers (Sec. 118.0605):
         for each page or part of a page . . . $ 1.00
                     (D)  Letters Testamentary, Letter of
  Guardianship, Letter of Administration, or Abstract of Judgment
  (Sec. 118.061) . . . $ 2.00
                     (E)  Deposit and Safekeeping of Wills (Sec.
  118.062) . . . $ 5.00
                     (F)  Mail Service of Process (Sec. 118.063) . . .
  same as sheriff
                     (G)  Records Management and Preservation Fee
  . . . $ 5.00
                     (H)  Records Technology and Infrastructure Fee if
  authorized by the commissioners court of the county (Sec. 118.026)
  . . . $ 2.00
         SECTION 13.  Section 118.062, Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 118.062.  DEPOSIT AND SAFEKEEPING OF WILLS. The fee for
  "Deposit and Safekeeping of Wills" under Section 118.052(3) is for
  receiving [filing] and keeping wills deposited [held] for
  safekeeping. The fee must be paid at the time the will is deposited
  with the county clerk [filed].
         SECTION 14.  Sections 252.001 and 252.201, Estates Code, as
  amended by this Act, and Section 252.2015, Estates Code, as added by
  this Act, apply to a will deposited with or delivered to a clerk
  described by those sections on or after the effective date of this
  Act. A will deposited with or delivered to a clerk described by
  those sections before the effective date of this Act is governed by
  the law in effect on the date the will was deposited or delivered,
  and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 15.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2207 was passed by the House on May 4,
  2017, by the following vote:  Yeas 142, Nays 1, 2 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 2207 on May 21, 2017, by the following vote:  Yeas 131, Nays 8,
  2 present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2207 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 19, 2017, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays
  1.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor