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Trusts

General Legal Information

  • Constitutional County Courts

    Each county in Texas has a single county court presided over by a county judge. The constitutional county courts generally hear the probate cases filed in the county. They have original jurisdiction over all Class A and Class B misdemeanor criminal cases, which are the more serious minor offenses. These courts usually have appellate jurisdiction in cases appealed from justice of the peace and municipal courts, except in counties where county courts at law have been established. These courts share jurisdiction with justice of the peace and district courts in civil cases in which the amount in controversy is small. Content Detail

    By:
    Texas Association of Counties
  • Court of Criminal Appeals

    The Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest state court for appeals resulting from criminal cases. The Court holds sessions throughout the year in Austin, Texas. The Court is comprised of 9 members, a Presiding Judge and eight Judges. Decisions of the Courts of Appeals in criminal cases may be appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeals by petition for discretionary review, filed either by the state, or the defendant, or both. In addition, the Court may review a decision on its own motion. All cases which result in the Death Penalty are automatically directed to the Court of Criminal Appeals from the trial court level. Content Detail

  • How to Select a Lawyer

    This publication can give you good tips on how to select a lawyer to help you. Content Detail

    By:
    The State Bar of Texas
  • 2013 Referral Directory Legal Services and Other Resources

    Legal services and other resources for low-income Texans. Read More

    By:
    State Bar of Texas Legal Services Support Division
  • Texas Probate Passport: Wills, Estates, Power of Attorney, and Probate

    Learn more about what happens to the legal status and transfer of a person's property after he or she dies with a will or without a will and how the probate process works. Read More

    By:
    Texas Young Lawyer's Association
  • Statutory County Courts

    Because the Constitution limits each county to a single county court, the Legislature has created statutory county courts at law in the larger counties to aid the single county court in its judicial functions. The legal jurisdiction of the special county-level trial courts varies considerably and is established by the statute which creates the particular court. The jurisdiction of statutorily-created county courts at law is usually concurrent with the jurisdiction of the county and district courts in the county. The civil jurisdiction of most county courts at law varies, but is usually more than that of the justice of the peace courts and less than that of the district courts. County courts at law usually have appellate jurisdiction in cases appealed from justice of the peace and municipal courts. Content Detail

    By:
    Texas Association of Counties
  • Statutory Probate Courts

    The Statutory Probate Courts of Texas are located in the state's six largest metropolitan areas and have original and exclusive jurisdiction over their counties' probate matters, guardianship cases, and mental health commitments. In most counties, the constitutional county court has original probate jurisdiction. In some counties, the Legislature has authorized certain statutorily created county courts to share this original jurisdiction. The original probate jurisdiction of district courts is limited to those situations in which a contested probate matter is transferred from a constitutional county court and when the Legislature has granted the district court original control and jurisdiction over personal representatives. In the more populated counties, the Legislature has created specialized probate courts (entitled statutory probate courts) to hear probate matters exclusively. Thus, depending on the jurisdictional grant by the Legislature, probate matters might be heard in the county court, county court at law, statutory probate court, or district court of a particular county. Content Detail

    By:
    Office of Court Administration
  • Legal Glossary

    Content Detail

    By:
    American Bar Association
  • Texas Court Structure

    Chart that explains the levels of courts within the Texas court system, the types of courts, and their jurisdiction. Content Detail

    By:
    Texas Judiciary Online
  • Texas District Courts

    The district courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction of Texas. The geographical area served by each court is established by the Legislature, but each county must be served by at least one district court. In sparsely populated areas of the State, several counties may be served by a single district court, while an urban county may be served by many district courts. District courts have original jurisdiction in all felony criminal cases, divorce cases, cases involving title to land, election contest cases, civil matters in which the amount in controversy (the amount of money or damages involved) is $200 or more, and any matters in which jurisdiction is not placed in another trial court. While most district courts try both criminal and civil cases, in the more densely populated counties the courts may specialize in civil, criminal, juvenile, or family law matters. Content Detail

    By:
    Office of Court Administration
  • The Truth About Living Trusts

    Just like a will, a revocable living trust is a written document that lets you direct how your property will pass after your death. Unlike a will, it also directs how you want your property managed during any disability. Content Detail

    By:
    AARP
  • Find the Right Court to File Your Case

    Use this search to find the right civil court to file a case in consumer, family, injury, probate and property matters. Content Detail

    By:
    TexasLawHelp.org
  • Texas Judicial System Overview [Brochure - PDF]

    This brochure explains each of the levels within the court system, the types of courts, and their jurisdiction. Content Detail

    By:
    Texas Judiciary Online