Service of Citation Notice When Filing an Application for Issuance of Letters of Administration

Recently I was called on to assist an heir in recovering property she had inherited after the passing of her mother and father.  Filing to application for appointment of a personal representative (administrator) caused me to review the required Service of Citation or Notice in a probate case like this.

The statute controlling this is CHAPTER 303. CITATIONS AND NOTICES IN GENERAL ON OPENING OF ADMINISTRATION (full text below).

The required notice is done by posting of the Application by the Sheriff.  The fee for this is collected, and the process is initiated by the Probate Clerk when the Application is filed.

*****
Full Text:

CHAPTER 303. CITATIONS AND NOTICES IN GENERAL ON OPENING OF ADMINISTRATION

Sec. 303.001. CITATION ON APPLICATION FOR ISSUANCE OF LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION. (a) On the filing with the clerk of an application for letters of administration, the clerk shall issue a citation to all parties interested in the estate.
(b) The citation required by Subsection (a) shall be served by posting and must state:
(1) that the application has been filed;
(2) the nature of the application;
(3) the decedent’s name;
(4) the applicant’s name;
(5) the time when the court will act on the application; and
(6) that any person interested in the estate may appear at the time stated in the citation to contest the application.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 680 (H.B. 2502), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2014.
Sec. 303.002. COURT ACTION PROHIBITED BEFORE SERVICE OF CITATION. A court may not act on an application for the issuance of letters of administration until service of citation has been made in the manner provided by this chapter.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 680 (H.B. 2502), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2014.
Sec. 303.003. SERVICE BY PUBLICATION OR OTHER SUBSTITUTED SERVICE. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, if an attempt to make service under this chapter is unsuccessful, service may be made in the manner provided by Rule 109 or 109a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, for the service of a citation on a party by publication or other substituted service.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 680 (H.B. 2502), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2014.