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How to Choose the Right Executor for Your Will in Texas

 Posted on March 13, 2024 in Estate Planning

San Antonio estate planning lawyerSelecting an executor for your will is an important decision that requires careful consideration. You will want to ensure that you choose an executor with the knowledge and capability to administer your estate efficiently per your wishes. A Texas attorney can guide you in selecting the right executor if you own property or assets.

The Role and Responsibilities of an Executor

In Texas, the executor (sometimes referred to as a personal representative) is the person or institution you name in your will to administer and distribute your estate after you pass away in accordance with your will’s provisions. The executor’s primary responsibilities involve tasks such as the following:

  • Filing petitions with the probate court to open probate and be officially appointed executor.
  • Notifying beneficiaries and creditors of your estate.
  • Making an inventory of estate assets and valuation.
  • Paying valid creditor claims and estate taxes.
  • Distributing remaining assets to heirs per your will.

The executor plays a central role in tying up all loose ends of your estate. Selecting a competent, responsible executor is essential for the smooth execution of your will.

Choosing the Right Executor for Your Needs

The most appropriate executor depends on your unique situation and estate planning needs. Here are some common options to consider:

  • Family Member: Naming a trusted family member who resides in Texas as your executor can be a good option since they are likely familiar with your wishes and may be personally invested in carrying out your will properly. Ensure the person is organized, responsible, and comfortable with administrative tasks.
  • Professional Executor: Banks, law firms, CPA firms, and corporate fiduciaries offer professional executor services for a fee, which can make sense for more complex estates. They specialize in navigating court processes, legalities, tax filings, and asset distribution.
  • Attorney: An estate planning or probate attorney in Texas who helped prepare your will is a common choice, given their specialized knowledge of state laws and probate court procedures. This can streamline the process significantly.

When evaluating potential candidates, look for good organization, communication and administrative skills, attention to detail, and basic financial literacy. Meet with the person to assess their capabilities and willingness to serve as your executor.

Create a Backup Executor

Consider naming a second family member, a different professional executor service, or a separate attorney as your backup. Outline the order of succession in your will documentation to avoid any confusion. You also have the option to name co-executors who are appointed to serve simultaneously. This provides checks and balances and shared responsibilities. For example, you may choose a family member and attorney to work together as co-executors. Or perhaps you would prefer naming your spouse or adult child as the primary and a bank or law firm to provide professional support. No matter your selection for primary and secondary executors, be sure to discuss the specifics of your will with each person in advance to confirm they understand and can fulfill their duties when the time comes.

Contact a San Antonio, TX Estate Planning Attorney

When you are trying to put together any important documents or final decisions for your life, you must go through the process properly and file the proper paperwork. A San Antonio, TX estate planning lawyer can help you get everything done right for your peace of mind. Call The Law Office of Ryan C. Moe, PLLC at 210-861-6000 to get started today with our team, which has nearly 40 years of combined experience.

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