Texas Wills and Probate Code
FILING AND RECORDKEEPING
TEXAS ESTATES CODE, TITLE 2. SUBTITLE B. CHAPTER 52.
§ 52.001. PROBATE DOCKET.
(a) The county clerk shall maintain a record book titled "Judge's Probate Docket" and shall record in the book:
(1) the name of each person with respect to whom, or with respect to whose estate, proceedings are commenced or sought to be commenced;
(2) the name of each executor, administrator, or applicant for letters testamentary or of administration;
(3) the date each original application for probate proceedings is filed;
(4) a notation of each order, judgment, decree, and proceeding that occurs in each estate, including the date it occurs; and
(5) the docket number of each estate as assigned under Subsection (b).
(b) The county clerk shall assign a docket number to each estate in the order proceedings are commenced.
§ 52.002. CLAIM DOCKET.
(a) The county clerk shall maintain a record book titled "Claim Docket" and shall record in the book each claim that is presented against an estate for the court's approval.
(b) The county clerk shall assign one or more pages of the record book to each estate.
(c) The claim docket must be ruled in 16 columns at proper intervals from top to bottom, with a short note of the contents at the top of each column. The county clerk shall record for each claim, in the order claims are filed, the following information in the respective columns, beginning with the first or marginal column:
(1) the name of the claimant;
(2) the amount of the claim;
(3) the date of the claim;
(4) the date the claim is filed;
(5) the date the claim is due;
(6) the date the claim begins bearing interest;
(7) the interest rate;
(8) the date the claim is allowed by the executor or administrator, if applicable;
(9) the amount allowed by the executor or administrator, if applicable;
(10) the date the claim is rejected, if applicable;
(11) the date the claim is approved, if applicable;
(12) the amount approved for the claim, if applicable;
(13) the date the claim is disapproved, if applicable;
(14) the class to which the claim belongs;
(15) the date the claim is established by a judgment of a court, if applicable; and
(16) the amount of the judgment established under Subdivision (15), if applicable.
§ 52.003. PROBATE FEE BOOK.
(a) The county clerk shall maintain a record book titled "Probate Fee Book" and shall record in the book each item of cost that accrues to the officers of the court and any witness fees.
(b) Each record entry must include:
(1) the party to whom the cost or fee is due;
(2) the date the cost or fee accrued;
(3) the estate or party liable for the cost or fee; and
(4) the date the cost or fee is paid.
§ 52.004. ALTERNATE RECORDKEEPING.
Instead of maintaining the record books described by Sections 52.001, 52.002, and 52.003, the county clerk may maintain the information described by those sections relating to a person's or estate's probate proceedings:
(1) on a computer file;
(2) on microfilm;
(3) in the form of a digitized optical image; or
(4) in another similar form of data compilation.
FILES AND INDEX
§ 52.051. FILING PROCEDURES.
(a) An application for a probate proceeding, complaint, petition, or other paper permitted or required by law to be filed with a court in a probate matter must be filed with the county clerk of the appropriate county.
(b) Each paper filed in an estate must be given the docket number assigned to the estate.
(c) On receipt of a paper described by Subsection (a), the county clerk shall:
(1) file the paper; and
(2) endorse on the paper:
(A) the date the paper is filed;
(B) the docket number; and
(C) the clerk's official signature.
§ 52.052. CASE FILES.
(a) The county clerk shall maintain a case file for the estate of each decedent for which a probate proceeding has been filed.
(b) Each case file must contain each order, judgment, and proceeding of the court and any other probate filing with the court, including each:
(1) application for the probate of a will;
(2) application for the granting of administration;
(3) citation and notice, whether published or posted, including the return on the citation or notice;
(4) will and the testimony on which the will is admitted to probate;
(5) bond and official oath;
(6) inventory, appraisement, and list of claims;
(6-a) affidavit in lieu of the inventory, appraisement, and list of claims;
(7) exhibit and account;
(8) report of renting;
(9) application for sale or partition of real estate;
(10) report of sale;
(11) report of the commissioners of partition;
(12) application for authority to execute a lease for mineral development, or for pooling or unitization of lands, royalty, or other interest in minerals, or to lend or invest money; and
(13) report of lending or investing money.
(c) Only the substance of a deposition must be recorded under Subsection (b)(4).
§ 52.053. INDEX.
(a) The county clerk shall properly index the records required under this chapter.
(b) The county clerk shall keep the index open for public inspection, but may not release the index from the clerk's custody.