By Thompson                                            H.B. No. 778
         76R4089 KLA-F                           
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to the jurisdiction of a statutory probate court in
 1-3     certain matters relating to decedents' estates.
 1-5           SECTION 1.  Section 5A(b), Texas Probate Code, is amended to
 1-6     read as follows:
 1-7           (b)  In proceedings in the statutory probate courts and
 1-8     districts courts, the phrases "appertaining to estates" and
 1-9     "incident to an estate" in this Code include the probate of wills,
1-10     the issuance of letters testamentary and of administration, and the
1-11     determination of heirship, and also include, but are not limited
1-12     to, all claims by or against an estate, all actions for trial of
1-13     title to land and for the enforcement of liens thereon, all actions
1-14     for trial of the right of property, all actions to construe wills,
1-15     the interpretation and administration of testamentary trusts and
1-16     the applying of constructive trusts, and generally all matters
1-17     relating to the settlement, partition, and distribution of estates
1-18     of deceased persons.  All statutory probate courts may, in the
1-19     exercise of their jurisdiction, notwithstanding any other
1-20     provisions of this Code, hear all suits, actions, and applications
1-21     filed against or on behalf of any heirship proceeding or decedent's
1-22     estate, including estates administered by an independent executor;
1-23     all such suits, actions, and applications are appertaining to and
1-24     incident to an estate [for the purposes of this section].  This
 2-1     subsection shall be construed in conjunction with and in harmony
 2-2     with Section 145 and all other sections of this Code dealing with
 2-3     independent executors, but shall not be construed so as to increase
 2-4     permissible judicial control over independent executors.  All
 2-5     statutory probate courts shall have the same powers over
 2-6     independent executors that are exercisable by the district courts.
 2-7     In situations where the jurisdiction of a statutory probate court
 2-8     is concurrent with that of a district court, any cause of action
 2-9     appertaining to estates or incident to an estate shall be brought
2-10     in a statutory probate court rather than in the district court.
2-11           SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1999.
2-12           SECTION 3.  The importance of this legislation and the
2-13     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
2-14     emergency and an imperative public necessity  that the
2-15     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
2-16     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.