Being named as an executor by someone is indeed a mark of respect, as the person considers you capable enough to fulfill their wishes when they have passed. However, just because you have been named executor does not mean you are obliged to serve, says the recent article, “Duties of an Executor: What are the responsibilities?” from Daily Local News.
The process of probate can be daunting, and it requires those named as executors or administrators of an estate to carry out a fiduciary duty. They must administer the estate according to the wishes of the deceased, and in line with the Texas Estates Codes legal obligations pertaining to the duties of an executor.
Suppose you decide the responsibilities of being an executor are more than you’re willing or able to handle. In that case, you can renounce your position as executor, and a successor executor named in the will becomes the executor. If the person who named you executor did not name a successor, the court will select a person for the role.
If you have any doubts about this role, please tell the person who asks you to serve, so they can make other arrangements.
If you choose to serve, you’ll want to understand what the job entails. Each estate is unique, and its administration depends upon the assets owned by the deceased, what debts they had and their wishes for distribution.
Some duties are the same regardless of the complexity or simplicity of the estate. For example, the executor often makes arrangements with the funeral home and provides information for the death certificate. Once the death certificate is issued, the executor probates the will with the local court in the county where the decedent last lived. Most people retain a Texas estate planning attorney, like Bradley S. Campbell, to guide them through probate and estate administration.
Once the petition for probate has been filed and the court issues Letters Testamentary empowering you to serve as the executor, the administration begins. Some, but not all, of the tasks, include:
The duties of an executor in Texas also include other tasks, such as selling the contents of the person’s residence and home.
The executor is entitled to reasonable compensation for their services. The amount is treated as taxable income. Determining the fee depends on the value and complexity of the estate and the amount of time it took to settle the estate. Some family members waive a fee, while others feel their time deserves compensation.Tyler estate planning lawyer Bradley S. Campbell can provide invaluable assistance to a Texas executor and prevent expensive mistakes from occurring. If the estate involves businesses, complex ownership structures, trusts, or other sophisticated assets, it is worthwhile to have the help of an experienced professional with the duties of an executor. Book a consultation with his office if you have been asked to serve as an executor or appointed as one for a new probate.
Reference: Daily Local News (March 22, 2023) “What are an executor’s responsibilities?”