Jackson Walker partner M. Keith Branyon was published in the March 2018 edition of the Texas Bar Journal. The article, “Claims Process – Options for Creditors in Independent Administrations,” endeavors to guide a creditor who is faced with the death of its debtor.
Keith has been practicing estate planning and probate law for over 35 years. He is well known for his book Texas Probate – Forms and Procedures which is commonly used by probate practitioners across Texas. In the article, Keith notes that the claims process is a difficult and confusing part of probate practice and that much of the written literature regarding the process focuses on advising the executor rather than the creditors. He notes also that while the claims process is detailed statutorily for dependent administrations, there is less clarity regarding the process when it comes to independent administrations.
The article reviews in detail (with statutory citations) how claims are defined and initiated, the notices that are required, and the process for filing claim or suit as necessary. Particular attention is paid to the importance of selecting the proper lien classification and to alternate remedies that may be available.
Regarding the article, Keith stated:
I am glad Texas Bar Journal chose to include this article to help guide creditors attempting to navigate the independent administration probate process. While independent administration is a tremendous advantage within our probate system in Texas, it can also create confusion when it comes to handling matters that aren’t predicated by statute. I hope this article proves helpful to creditors who unexpectedly find themselves collecting from a debtor’s independently administered estate.
The article can be found in its entirety on the State Bar of Texas website or in the March 2018 print edition of the Texas Bar Journal.
M. Keith Branyon is a partner in Jackson Walker’s Fort Worth office where he practices estate planning, probate, guardianship, and tax with a particular emphasis on the taxation of individuals, estates, and trusts, and all types of transfer taxes. He is also an experienced litigator in probate and guardianship cases and has been admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, and Western District of Texas. He is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in both Tax Law and in Estate Planning & Probate Law and is a Certified Public Accountant.