Background on probate, the ‘biggest business in the world’ stat (TX)


Over at Impeachrandykennedy’s Blog, Danny Tate is talking again about probate courts as “the biggest business in the world.”

As he references a statistic provided to him by Estate of Denial®, we thought this a good time to share the full context from which that information came.  This September 2010 post excerpt explains:

Today’s post well describes the immense wealth passing through these courts and the subsequent power derived.  Our first EoD column, “Grave” Problems in Texas: Looting Assets of the Dead and Disabled discussed similar issues.  In October 2006, Harris County (Houston) Probate Judge Mike Wood – a controversial figure in his own right – testified before the Texas Senate Committee on Jurisprudence and offered interesting insight to the “probate business.”  He told of a 1995 analysis indicating that assets and inventories filed for his approval (and not necessarily including all independently-administered estate assets which also he supervises) were approximately $750 million per quarter.  He said the $3 billion annual figure held true five years later.  While this court was described as “probably one of the busiest probate courts in the nation,” that still is a staggering number and to extrapolate even a far-diminished dollar amount to the massive number of probate courts throughout this country helps illustrate the wealth controlled by this venue.

This $750 million per quarter figure continues to be staggering and seems unlikely to drop anytime soon with Texas’ aging population and its current relocation popularity.