Sections 451.001 through 451.003 of the Texas Estates Code provide that if the value
of an estate’s entire assets (excluding homestead and exempt property) does not exceed
the amount to which the decedent’s surviving spouse and minor children are entitled
as a family allowance, an application may be filed by them or on their behalf in any
court of proper venue for administration requesting that the court make a family allowance
and enter an order that no administration is necessary.
The application must name the heirs and devisees, list all known creditors of the
estate and their claims, and describe and give an estimated value of the real and
personal property of the estate and the liens and encumbrances thereon.
Upon the filing of such an application, the court will hold a hearing. If the court
finds that the facts contained in the application are true and that the expenses of
the last illness, funeral charges, and expenses of the proceeding have been paid or
secured, the court must make a family allowance.
If the estate’s assets (excluding homestead and exempt property) are exhausted, the
court must also order that no administration is necessary, and assign the entire estate
to the surviving spouse and minor children.