In the recent Texas case of In Re Estate of Tillotson, the administrator of a deceased individual’s estate filed a motion to have the deceased individual’s husband turn over the deceased individual’s community property interest in several accounts. When the trial court granted the motion, the surviving spouse appealed.
The court of appeals found that the administrator had the power to file a motion seeking partition of community property. The appeals court noted that the state’s estate code provides that an executor or administrator through a written application can request the partition and distribution of an estate. The court also noted that if an intestate deceased spouse survives a child, the deceased spouse’s undivided one-half interest in the community estate passes to the deceased spouse’s children.
The appeals court went on to discuss the Texas estate code that permits a surviving spouse to seek a partition but noted that this code does not make this right exclusive to the surviving spouse. Consequently, the court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s order.