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Wills & Guardianship: 214.227.6400

9400 N. Central Expy., Ste. 1630

Dallas, Texas 75231

Guide for the Texas Executor

An "executor" is the person named in a will who is responsible for administering the estate of the testator. By asking the court to appoint you as executor, you are agreeing to carry out the last wishes of a person who had the utmost confidence in you. It is a position of great trust, but it also comes with great responsibility.

Normally, so long as a person is not acting illegally, he or she is free to act in his or her self interests to the detriment of others. There are special relationships in the law, however, that dictate that a person, called a fiduciary, must put his or her interest behind those of another. An executor of an estate is a fiduciary and therefore there are certain duties that the executor must fulfill lest he or she be sued for a breach of the executor's fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries.

What follows is a short guide for our clients who will be or who have been appointed as the executor of the estate. It is not a substitute for legal advice and we expect that if you have any questions, you will call us.

Pre-Hearing Duties

  1. Locate the Original Will
  2. Read the Will
  3. Offer the Will for Probate

Post-Hearing Duties

  1. Qualify as Executor
  2. Secure Real Property
  3. Take Possession of Vehicles
  4. Collect Tangible Personal Property
  5. Insure Assets
  6. Collect Financial Assets
  7. Inventory, Appraisement, and List of Claims
  8. Set Aside Assets for Spouse and Children
  9. Notify Beneficiaries
  10. Notify Creditors
  11. Act on Creditors' Claims
  12. Pay Taxes
  13. Distribute the Estate According to the Will
  14. Close the Estate

A video summarizing these steps is available on YouTube. Forgive the lack of editing as I do not charge enough for slick video production.

Video Summarizing Duties of an Independent Executor or Administrator