HBA-KDB H.B. 2731 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2731 By: Gray Judicial Affairs 77/18/2001 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE In a proceeding to determine the heirs of a person dying intestate, a citation for determining heirship by publication is required. Although, prior to the 77th Legislature, the Texas Probate Code did not explicitly require a probate judge to appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the interest of unknown heirs in an heirship proceeding, the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure required the appointment of an attorney ad litem when service has been made by publication. There was concern that since this requirement was not explicitly found in the Texas Probate Code, a probate judge might not have automatically appointed an attorney ad litem. In addition, state law did not prohibit a parent, managing conservator, guardian, attorney ad litem, or guardian ad litem (guardian) of a distributee who was at least 12 years of age but younger than 19 years of age (minor) from waiving citation required to be served on the distributee. House Bill 2731 places in the Texas Probate Code the current requirement that a probate court appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the interest of unknown heirs, and prohibits a guardian of a minor from waiving citation for determining heirship required to be served on the minor. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 2731 amends the Texas Probate Code to require the probate court to appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the interests of unknown heirs. The bill prohibits a parent, managing conservator, guardian, attorney ad litem, or guardian ad litem of a distributee who is at least 12 years of age but younger than 19 years of age from waiving citation for determining heirship required to be served on the distributee. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.