Once the executor or administrator in a probate case is appointed, he must file an inventory of all of the property belonging to the estate. TPC 250. The inventory has to be filed within 90 days of his appointment. Once filed, the judge will review the inventory and, if everything seems to be complete, enter an order approving it. The purpose of the inventory is to let the beneficiaries as well as the creditors know what is in the estate and if it is solvent.

Often, the executor or administrator will discover additional property belonging to the estate after the inventory has been approved by the judge. Examples may be a CD that no one knew about maturing, or a tax bill that is received on property in another county, or a landman that contacts the executor about some oil interest that he is researching, etc. What must the executor or administrator do? The Texas Probate Code requires that the executor file a supplemental inventory with the probate court and have it approved by the judge. TPC 256. Not filing the supplemental inventory may result in the removal of the executor or administrator.

Pearls of wisdom: If you are the beneficiary and you know about property that belongs to the estate that was not listed in the inventory, you should bring it to the attention of the executor. If the executor does not cooperate with you, you should be concerned about the estate. It is not unheard of for an executor to take and use property that belongs to the estate. You probably need to contact an attorney to assist you. The attorney can demand an accounting from the executor. You don’t want to wait too long before taking some action, otherwise, the estate may squandered.