In Texas, estates of military servicemembers who die in active service in a combat zone are exempt are exempt from the following fees:
- Any fee for filing for probate of the deceased servicemember’s Will; and,
- Any fee charged by the probate court for rendering its normal services.
“Combat zones” are designated by the President by Executive Order under authority granted by 26 U.S.C. Section 112, which is the section of the IRS code that excludes gross compensation received in a combat zone from taxable income. Currently, there are three designated “combat zones” (including airspace above) as follows:
- Arabian Peninsula Areas, beginning Jan. 17, 1991 — the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, the part of the Arabian Sea north of 10° North latitude and west of 68° East longitude, the Gulf of Aden, and the countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
- Kosovo area, beginning Mar. 24, 1999 — Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), Albania, the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea north of the 39th Parallel.
- Afghanistan, beginning Sept. 19, 2001.
Information on the three areas above and others previously designated as combat zones is available from the IRS. Speak with a qualified Wills, estates and probate attorney to learn more.
Author Jim Cramp is a retired active duty colonel and the founder and principal attorney at the Cramp Law Firm, PLLC. The firm provides a spectrum of family law-related services to clients in the greater San Antonio region, across the United States and throughout the world. The firms also provides Wills and Estates and Probate services.