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Texas Probate, Estate and Trust Administration
Copyright 2016, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

1-1 Texas Probate, Estate and Trust Administration 1.syn


Ethical Issues in Probate Practice


Revisions by Jackson Walker L.L.P.

Chapter Summary


Ethical considerations arising in probate practice are often complicated by the circumstances and relationships commonly involved in these matters, including the need to address the competing expectations of various family members. Although some conduct is clearly inappropriate, more frequently counsel will be faced with situations in which the correct course of action is instead unclear, particularly given the needs and wishes of individual clients.

This chapter from Texas Probate, Estate and Trust Administration addresses the application of professional standards of conduct to attorneys in probate practice. The chapter begins with a discussion of the rules regulating professional conduct and the Statement of Principles promulgated by the State Bar of Texas as they relate to pertinent matters, including pre-probate actions; probate actions; inventory-tax returns; estate administration; and attorney's fees. The discussion then turns to the duty of competence; potential conflicts of interest; vicarious disqualification; and attorneys as witnesses in will contest actions. Finally, the chapter provides an overview of helpful references, including law reviews and periodicals, as well as an appendix containing a user guide.

Texas Probate, Estate and Trust Administration (Matthew Bender) provides in-depth coverage of every aspect of probate law and estate and trust administration in Texas, with straightforward guidance and expert analysis on such topics as probate of wills under the Probate Code; estate administration; the collection and distribution of assets; creditors' claims; exemptions and allowances; will contests; tax issues, including income tax returns for decedents and estates, federal estate taxes, and Texas inheritance taxes; estate representatives; guardianship; and the administration of trusts. Texas Probate, Estate and Trust Administration also contains easy-reference practice tools, including sample forms and letters, procedural checklists, lists of source materials, useful charts and diagrams, and tables of statutes, rules, and regulations.


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See Ch. 12 for a discussion of admitting wills to probate. Ch. 13 addresses the appointment of personal representatives. Estate administration is discussed in Ch. 30. Ch. 40 provides an overview of will construction. The nature, creation and validity of trusts are covered in Ch. 80, and the general administrative powers and duties of trustees is addressed in Ch. 81.


See Texas Estate Planning (Matthew Bender) for guidance in preparing wills, trusts, and durable powers of attorney, with the most current federal and state statutory case law and hundreds of comprehensive forms.

See Texas Transaction Guide: Legal Forms--Estate Practice (Matthew Bender) for legal background, research aids, practice guides, and forms for Texas estate transactions, including wills, codicils, trusts, and powers of attorney.

See Dorsaneo, Texas Litigation Guide--Estate Practice (Matthew Bender) for Texas estate practice information, covering initial procedures for probate, descent and distribution, probate, personal representatives, will construction, managing the estate, creditors' claims, exemptions and allowances, guardianships, and mental commitments.

See Modern Estate Planning (Matthew Bender) for coverage of all key estate planning topics, including gift taxation, transfers and interests subject to estate and gift taxation, estate and gift tax deductions, exclusions and credits, and generation-skipping transfers.

See Planning for Large Estates (Matthew Bender) for analysis of the latest legal trends, planning notes, illustrative examples, practice forms, and tax-saving techniques for handling large estates, with coverage of estate freezing, corporate recapitalizations, multi-tier family partnerships, sales techniques, intrafamily and charitable gift techniques, and valuation of intrafamily transfers.

See How to Save Time & Taxes Handling Estates (Matthew Bender) for all the necessary information, including completely filled-in forms as well as estate and gift tax sections of the Internal Revenue Code, to complete the federal estate tax return in the most tax-saving manner.
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