Texas Estates Code - EST § 360.253. Community Property

(a) If a spouse dies leaving community property, the surviving spouse, at any time after letters testamentary or of administration have been granted and an inventory, appraisement, and list of claims of the estate have been returned or an affidavit in lieu of the inventory, appraisement, and list of claims has been filed, may apply in writing to the court that granted the letters for a partition of the community property.

(b) The surviving spouse shall execute and deliver a bond to the judge of the court described by Subsection (a).  The bond must be:

(1) with a corporate surety or at least two good and sufficient personal sureties;

(2) payable to and approved by the judge;

(3) in an amount equal to the value of the surviving spouse's interest in the community property;  and

(4) conditioned for the payment of half of all debts existing against the community property.

(c) The court shall proceed to partition the community property into two equal moieties, one to be delivered to the surviving spouse and the other to be delivered to the executor or administrator of the deceased spouse's estate.

(d) If a partition is made under this section:

(1) a lien exists on the property delivered to the surviving spouse to secure the payment of the bond required under Subsection (b);  and

(2) any creditor of the community estate:

(A) may sue in the creditor's own name on the bond;  and

(B) is entitled:

(i) to have judgment on the bond for half of the debt the creditor establishes;  and

(ii) to be paid by the executor or administrator of the deceased spouse's estate for the other half.

(e) The provisions of this title relating to the partition and distribution of an estate apply to a partition under this section to the extent applicable.


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