1-1     By:  Thompson (Senate Sponsor - Wentworth)             H.B. No. 778
 1-2           (In the Senate - Received from the House April 9, 1999;
 1-3     April 12, 1999, read first time and referred to Committee on
 1-4     Jurisprudence; April 20, 1999, reported favorably by the following
 1-5     vote:  Yeas 4, Nays 0; April 20, 1999, sent to printer.)
 1-6                            A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-7                                   AN ACT
 1-8     relating to the jurisdiction of a statutory probate court in
 1-9     certain matters relating to decedents' estates.
1-11           SECTION 1.  Sections 5A(b) and (e), Texas Probate Code, are
1-12     amended to read as follows:
1-13           (b)  In proceedings in the statutory probate courts and
1-14     district [districts] courts, the phrases "appertaining to estates"
1-15     and "incident to an estate" in this Code include the probate of
1-16     wills, the issuance of letters testamentary and of administration,
1-17     and the determination of heirship, and also include, but are not
1-18     limited to, all claims by or against an estate, all actions for
1-19     trial of title to land and for the enforcement of liens thereon,
1-20     all actions for trial of the right of property, all actions to
1-21     construe wills, the interpretation and administration of
1-22     testamentary trusts and the applying of constructive trusts, and
1-23     generally all matters relating to the settlement, partition, and
1-24     distribution of estates of deceased persons.  All statutory probate
1-25     courts may, in the exercise of their jurisdiction, notwithstanding
1-26     any other provisions of this Code, hear all suits, actions, and
1-27     applications filed against or on behalf of any heirship proceeding
1-28     or decedent's estate, including estates administered by an
1-29     independent executor;  all such suits, actions, and applications
1-30     are appertaining to and incident to an estate [for the purposes of
1-31     this section].  This subsection shall be construed in conjunction
1-32     with and in harmony with Section 145 and all other sections of this
1-33     Code dealing with independent executors, but shall not be construed
1-34     so as to increase permissible judicial control over independent
1-35     executors.  All statutory probate courts shall have the same powers
1-36     over independent executors that are exercisable by the district
1-37     courts.  In situations where the jurisdiction of a statutory
1-38     probate court is concurrent with that of a district court, any
1-39     cause of action appertaining to estates or incident to an estate
1-40     shall be brought in a statutory probate court rather than in the
1-41     district court.
1-42           (e)  Subsections (c)(2), (3), and (4) [(c)] and Subsection
1-43     (d) apply whether or not the matter is appertaining to or incident
1-44     to an estate.
1-45           SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1999.
1-46           SECTION 3.  The importance of this legislation and the
1-47     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
1-48     emergency and an imperative public necessity  that the
1-49     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
1-50     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.
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