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Understanding your role as executor

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2022 | Estate Planning, Probate & Guardianships

If you have a close relationship with your parents, grandparents, or siblings, you may be asked to be the executor of their respective estates. While this can be an honor, it is also a huge responsibility. Depending on the size and worth of your loved one’s estate, you may feel like being an executor is a second job. However, there are some steps Texas families can take to ensure that executors understand their role and can carry out their family members’ wishes.

Get copies of important documents

One of the most essential aspects of estate planning is having the right documents on hand for your records. You may also need these documents when or if you have to attend probate court. Be sure to obtain a copy of your loved one’s death certificate. You can get a copy from the funeral home in most cases. You’ll also need to file the will and death certificate with the probate court in your county. The filing deadline varies according to county, but you typically have between 10 and 90 days from the death date. If probate is necessary, you must get a letter of testamentary from the court. This letter indicates that you are the legal executor of the estate.

Open a separate bank account

Throughout the estate planning process, you’ll likely have to make deposits, pay bills, and settle debts on behalf of the deceased in between attending probate hearings. It’s best to set up a bank account in the decedent’s estate name to accomplish these financial tasks. This will make it easier for you to keep track of payments and verify payments if there are any discrepancies.

After you’ve gathered the correct paperwork and opened a separate bank account, you should stay in contact with the other beneficiaries of the estate. Let your family members know if the probate process is taking longer than you anticipated or update your relatives on which estate debts you’re in the process of paying by scheduling regular meetings to keep everyone informed.