An Independent Administration is the most common kind of probate in Texas. It is the probate process through which an Executor/Administrator is officially appointed by the court. In this capacity, the Executor/Administrator will receive “Letters Testamentary” or “Letters of Administration.” These letters grant the Executor/Administrator legal authority to act on behalf of your loved one’s estate, to transfer property, and to manage any unresolved affairs.
The greatest benefit of an Independent Administration is that the appointed Executor/Administrator can act independently, without court approval of every single action. This independence greatly reduces court costs and attorneys fees, and also greatly expedites the entire probate process. Because of these benefits, an Independent Administration is often recommended.
Further, in many cases, an estate easily qualifies for an Independent Administration, especially if your loved one left a valid Will dictating that an Independent Executor/Administrator be appointed. Even if your loved one left no Will (or an invalid Will), an Independent Administration is often possible as long your family members consent to it and don’t fight over your loved one’s assets.
(As a side note: You might have wondered what the difference is between an Executor and an Administrator. An Executor is named in a Will to manage an estate that is governed by a Will. An Administrator is appointed by the court in other circumstances, such as when no Will exists. Their legal authority to act on behalf of an estate differs very little in most cases. The law, though, still recognizes this distinction out of respect for the wishes of those who chose Executors for their estate in advance as part of their Wills. As another side note: If you want to choose the person who will manage your estate’s affairs after you pass away, make sure to do so in your own Will.)