What Does an Executor Do after Someone Dies in Texas?

17944261_sMost people named as an executor in someone’s will fall into one of two categories — either they’ve never served as a personal representative, or they didn’t even know they had been selected for the job. If you fall into one of those categories, or both, don’t despair. While serving as executor of an estate carries a great deal of responsibility, the job is not terribly difficult if you understand some basic ground rules.

What is an executor?

An executor is sometimes referred to as the personal representative of an estate. The job carries essentially the same function as that of an estate administrator, which is the title given to a person appointed to administer the estate of someone who died without a will.

Whether you are referred to as the personal representative, executor, or estate administrator, you are expected to manage and distribute property contained in the deceased person’s estate, including:

  • Real estate
  • Vehicles owned by the deceased person
  • Bank accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Cash
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Life insurance proceeds, if payable to the estate

You may retain an experienced probate lawyer to help with the process of petition the probate court for authority to manage the estate. After the court confers written approval, one of your next priorities should be to identify all estate assets and conduct a thorough inventory, keeping a written record of all property in the estate as of the date of death.

Which bills do I pay and when?

Notice of your loved one’s death should be provided to all known creditors. Notice is generally published as well, providing constructive notice to any unknown creditors of the deceased. Creditors then have an opportunity to make claims against the estate.

Texas law provides instructions for paying claims when there are not enough assets to pay all valid claims in full, and for distributing property according to the terms of the will.

We can help

The attorneys at the Peterson Law Group are experienced in handling estates of all sizes and are here to help you navigate the probate process. If you need help administering an estate, contact an experienced Bryan, Texas estate planning attorney at the Peterson Law Group. Call us today at 979-703-7014 to schedule a consultation.

About Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is an attorney and the owner and founder of Peterson Law Group, a Texas law firm with offices in Bryan/College Station and Kingwood. He mainly practices in the areas of Estate Planning and Business Planning. Chris is also a Certified Estate Planner. Besides his law practice, Chris is a serial entrepreneur and community volunteer. He is known for his cutting edge law practice that utilizes technology to deliver efficient, excellent work.