Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Does A Texas Estate Need To Be Represented By A Licensed Attorney?

ImagesA Texas estate is required to be represented by a licensed attorney, because an estate executor represents the interests of third parties, not just personal interests. 

Rule 7 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure allows a pray the right to self-representation and states: "Any party to a suit may appear and prosecute or defend his rights therein, either in person or by an attorney of the court."

In Kankonde v. Mankan, the Court of Appeals of Texas, Eighth District, confirmed that a pro se litigant who is not an attorney cannot file pleadings on behalf of an estate — only an attorney may file pleadings on behalf on an estate. 

A Texas estate is required to be represented by an attorney because Rule 7 (the right to self-representation) only applies when a person is litigating his rights on his own behalf, as opposed to litigating certain rights in a representative capacity. 

A Texas executor of an estate serves in a representative capacity of the estate. Therefore, an attorney is required to represent the interests of a third-party at the outset. 

See, Does A Texas Estate Need To Be Represented By A Licensed Attorney?, Probate Stars, July 12, 2020. 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2020/07/does-a-texas-estate-need-to-be-represented-by-a-licensed-attorney.html

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