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The more things change...

Texas Probate Code Becomes Texas Estates Code

Beginning January 1, 2014, the Texas Estates Code is scheduled to replace the Texas Probate Code as part of the ongoing revision and codification of Texas statutes. Although the revision is non-substantive, codification will reorganize the statutes into titles, chapters, and sections, similar to other Texas codes. Anyone whose practice touches on wills, probate, guardianship, or power of attorney documents will have to spend some time acquainting themselves with the new organizational structure.

To assist with the transition, the Texas Legislative Council has included helpful documents in its Revisor’s Reports. At the beginning of each report, the foreword defines the scope of the revision and gives an overview of the new organization scheme. On a more practice level, each report contains a Disposition Table that shows the new section designation for each section of the Probate Code.

Legal publishers are also producing helpful tools. For example, Jones McClure has published O’Connor’s Estates Code Plus, which contains the text of both the Probate Code and the Estates Code with the effective date of each section at the top of the page. It also contains charts and tables that put various probate processes in step-by-step order with cross references to the new code. You can discover this volume on law library shelves throughout the Houston area.

Joseph Lawson is a guest blogger for Nota Bene and the law librarian at the Fort Bend County Law Library. Please note that the views expressed in this post do not represent an official position or opinion of Fort Bend County, Texas.

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