Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 898
By: Thompson
Judicial Affairs


Prior to the 77th Legislature, state law provided that in order for a
guardian to sell property on behalf of a ward, the guardian must apply to
the court for the authority to sell the property.  Also, the court could
only close and settle a guardianship if the cash assets were $25,000 or
less, and any debts could only be received or paid if the amount of a
debtor's or creditor's interest did not exceed $50,000.  These limitations
on guardianship proved to be burdensome to the guardian, as well as the
ward.  The law governing guardianship procedure in Texas involves multiple
steps, and therefore, the process was considered to be expensive.  In 1993,
the legislature expedited the procedure for wards with a relatively small
interest.  An increase in the maximum value of the ward's interest to
$100,000 and the ability of a court to terminate a guardianship of an
estate for up to $100,000 may allow the expedited process to be used more
frequently.  House Bill 898 modifies  the administration of certain
property of incapacitated persons, wards, and former wards. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 898 amends the Texas Probate Code to increase from $50,000 to
$100,000 the  maximum value of real or personal property that a natural or
adoptive parent or the managing conservator is authorized to sell on behalf
of the minor. The bill increases, from $25,000 to $100,000, the maximum
amount of cash or cash equivalent remaining in the estate of a minor in
order to terminate the guardianship of the estate.  The bill increases,
from $50,000 to $100,000, the maximum amount of money a creditor without a
guardianship is entitled to receive.  The bill also increases, from $50,000
to $100,000, the maximum amount of money a nonresident minor, a nonresident
person who is incapacitated, or a former ward of a terminated guardianship
owing as a result of transactions within this state is  entitled to
receive. The bill increases from $50,000 to $100,000 the maximum value of a
ward's net interest that a guardian is authorized to sell without being
appointed guardian of the estate. 


May 16, 2001.