Constitutional County Court Frequently Asked Questions
How do I close a Guardianship of the person, a Guardianship of the Estate, and a Dependent Administration?
A final report is required to close a guardianship of the person. A final account is required to close a guardianship of the estate and a dependent administration.
Is there a form for an annual account or an annual report ?
The Court has a sample form for annual reports on the person in guardianship matters. The Court has a sample form to use when filing annual accounts in guardianship estates and dependent administrations.
What is the difference between an Annual Account and an Annual Report?
An annual account is an accounting of the assets and liabilities of an estate or guardianship.
An annual report is a report on the person of an incapacitated person or minor.
When does an annual account have to be filed in a guardianship?
An annual account must be filed within 60 days of the anniversary of the Guardian's date of qualification
When does an annual account have to be filed in an administration?
Upon the expiration of twelve (12) months from the date of qualification.
How long can an estate remain open?
There is no specific time for which an estate can remain open.
How long do I have to probate a will?
4 years from date of death.
What is "muniment of title"?
Muniment of title is the legal term for a document, title deed or other evidence, that indicates ownership of an asset.
When is the inventory due?
It is due 90 days from date of qualification.
Where do I get forms to file an Application for Probate?
Neither the Court nor the County Clerk have forms for the application and other documents necessary to file a probate matter.
Does the Court accept fax filings?
No, the Court does not accept fax filings.
What are the contact numbers for County Court?
Main line: 903-590-4616
Probate Questions: 903-590-4611
Mental Health Questions: 903-590-4610
What are the filing fees for?
Please refer to the County Clerk page for this information or contact the Probate Division of the County Clerk's office 903-590-4677, 903-590-4678, or 903-590-4674.
What days of the week does the Court hold hearings?
Probate matters & Guardianship matters - Tuesday afternoon
200 E. Ferguson, Suite 100, Smith County Courthouse Annex, Tyler, Texas
Where can I review a file or recently filed documents?
All files are maintained in the Probate Division of the Smith County Clerk's office, on the third floor of the Smith County Annex Building at 200 E. Ferguson St, Tyler.
Where do I complain if I'm not satisfied with the way my attorney is handling the case?
In very limited situations, the Court staff may be able to be of some assistance in resolving the issues between you and your attorney. Otherwise, you should contact another attorney to assume your representation, or if appropriate, contact the State Bar of Texas.
Do I need an attorney to represent me in a Guardianship?
The creation of a guardianship is a very technical matter under the Probate Code. Numerous steps are required, and strict compliance with the Code is necessary. Although the court staff is as helpful as possible, they are not authorized to practice law, and cannot instruct a non-lawyer about all of the necessary matters that must be accomplished.
How long does it take to put a guardianship in place?
Approximately 4 to 6 weeks.
What are Letters of Guardianship?
The letters of guardianship are the official certificate issued by the Clerk of the Court reflecting that the guardianship was created, and identifying the ward and the guardian. The letters of guardianship provide an expiration date on their face.
What is the difference between Guardian of the person and Guardian of the estate?
The guardian of the person is authorized to make decisions about the health care, living arrangements, and similar matters, but has no authority to expend funds.The guardian of the estate has all rights and obligations to expend the ward's funds, subject to prior Court approval.
When are guardianship hearings usually heard and how do I get a setting?
The Court has local rules that you must follow to request a guardianship hearing. Those rules are available on this website.
When will an attorney ad litem be appointed in a guardianship?
An attorney ad litem is appointed as soon as the Court receives the application for guardianship.
Where do I get forms to file an Application for Guardianship?
Neither the Court nor the County Clerk have forms for the application and other documents necessary for the creation of a guardianship.
What is mental illness?
As defined by the Texas Health and Safety Code: An illness, disease, or condition, other than epilepsy, dementia, substance abuse, or intellectual disability, that:
substantially impairs a person's thought, perception of reality, emotional process, or judgment; or
grossly impairs behavior as demonstrated by recent disturbed behavior.
What process do I follow to have someone committed?
You must first call the Andrews Center (903-597-1351) and speak to a therapist on call about court ordered commitment services. The Andrews Center is the single port of authority for the mental health system in Smith County. If the therapist feels that the proposed patient meets the criteria for court-ordered services, he/she will refer you to the County Court, or in an immediate emergency/crisis call 911.