When the probate court certifies a person or organization as the executor of an estate, that party assumes significant responsibilities and a strict duty to perform their job. This role involves two main tasks. The first is to ensure the payment of all debts that the decedent carries with creditors. The second is to oversee the distribution of property and assets.
It is essential that an executor document every step that they take. Effective estate administration in Sugar Land is key to fulfilling this role and avoiding potential legal complications. If you are tasked with administering an estate, call a knowledgeable attorney at Romano & Sumner to guide you through every step of the process.
Any time that an estate goes into probate, it will need an executor (or Administrator in instances where there is no will or when named executors are unable or unwilling to serve) whose job is to perform effective estate administration. In most situations, a testator will nominate an executor in their will. If a nominee wants to perform this job, they must submit an application to the court according to the requirements in the Texas Estates Code § 301.052.
In some cases, the nominee may not want the job or may be otherwise ineligible. Here, the court has the power to appoint an administrator. In either scenario, the court will issue letters (either testamentary in the case of an executor or of administration in the case of an administrator) that give the executor or administrator the power to take control over assets, pay debts, and open bank accounts for the estate.
The first task of the executor or administrator is to pay the decedent’s debts. When a probate is initiated, creditors will learn about the person’s death. These creditors will then be able to demand payment from the decedent’s estate.
If the decedent died with significant cash assets, payment to the creditors may come directly from these accounts. In other situations, it may be necessary to liquidate real estate, personal property, or business interests. An experienced local attorney can further advise an executor or administrator on the various functions they are required to perform in administrating an estate.
Once every creditor receives what is owed to them, the executor or administrator can move on to the second phase of estate administration. This step involves overseeing the transfer of assets to the distributees of the will or heirs of the estate.
If the property goes to a single person, it is possible to enact a direct transfer. In cases involving multiple distributees, an executor may need to liquidate the property before distributing it. For example, it is often necessary to sell a family home and distribute the cash proceeds unless the distributees can come to an agreement on their own. An executor has the power to take temporary control over assets and oversee the correct distribution.
To ensure a smooth and successful estate administration in Sugar Land, work with a dedicated attorney at our firm. Call Romano & Sumner today to set up a consultation with a skilled member of our team.
Romano & Sumner, PLLC