Estate Administration - Appeal Denial of Attorney’s Fees is Final Order

In re Estate of Washington, 289 S.W.3d 362 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2009, pet. denied).

A removed executor unsuccessfully petitioned the trial court for attorney’s fees from the estate. The appellate court determined that it had jurisdiction to hear the former executor’s appeal. A request for attorney’s fees is a claim against the decedent’s estate. Probate Code § 312(d) provides that a court’s order approving or disapproving the request has “the force and effect of [a] final judgment[].” Accordingly, the trial court’s order was final and appealable.

Moral: An award or denial of attorney’s fees is a final and appealable order. Accordingly, an appeal must be taken timely rather than waiting until after the final resolution of the probate matter.