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Friday, September 17, 2010

Texas Code Revision - The Venerable Probate Code Gets a Name Change

Jessica R. Alexander, J.D.,M.L.S., Reference Librarian.
Effective January 2014, the Texas Probate Code will be replaced by the Estates Code. The Probate Code revision project involves a non-substantive revision of the code. Follow the foregoing link for a full explanation of the project. West has issued an interim pamphlet (2009) Pamphlet Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated Estates Code) (KFT1230.5 V4 E88) with the changes approved by the 81st Legislature. This unannotated pamphlet is shelved just after the Elections Code and contains Title 1 - General Provisions and Title 2 - Estates of Decedents. Further revisions will be presented by the Texas Legislative Council to the 82nd Legislature in January 2011. The council is responsible for the Texas code revision project that has been going on for more than forty years. The goal of the project is to simplify Texas law by turning the old statutory alphabetical arrangement into subject matter codes. The Probate Code existed before the revision project, and was placed alphabetically between the statutory arrangement in Vernon's Texas Revised Civil Statutes Annotated. These statutes were last revised in bulk in 1925, and changes and additions to the laws made these "Black Statutes," confusing.

An in depth explanation of Texas statutory history is contained in Chapter 11 of Texas Legal Research: an Essential Lawyering Skill by Lydia M. Brandt. (1995). Some of the material in this book must be brought up to date by the reader.