Texas Independent Executor or Administrator Duties
This article is intended for educational purposes only and not as legal advice. Should you require legal advice for help with your probate matter, please consult a Houston Probate Attorney.
Being Named as an Independent Executor or Administrator in Texas
When you are named as an Independent Executor in a Will or otherwise appointed by a Court to serve as an Independent Administrator of an estate in Texas, you become responsible for the task of administering the decedent’s estate. Being named and serving as an Independent Executor or Administrator is a position of great trust and responsibility and is not to be taken lightly. The tasks and responsibilities will be made less difficult with the careful guidance and advice of a probate attorney.
Qualifications of an Independent Executor or Administrator
There are no particular educational qualifications or certifications required to serve as an Independent Executor or Administrator of an estate. However, the following persons are disqualified from serving:
- An incapacitated person
- A convicted felon
- A non-resident who has not appointed a resident agent
- A corporation not duly authorized to act as a fiduciary
- An unsuitable person
You will not have authority to act on behalf of the estate until you have taken the oath of office and filed a bond if required. If a bond is required, the Court will set the amount. You must take your oath within a specified number of days from the date of the Court Order.
Duties of an Independent Executor or Administrator
Estate administration can be a daunting endeavor. As the Independent Executor or Administrator, you will be locating and valuing the decedent’s assets, preparing the estate inventory, providing required notice to various creditors and beneficiaries, paying outstanding debts of the decedent, paying personal income taxes and estate taxes (if any), preparing tax returns, and distributing the remaining assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries or heirs. During the estate administration , you will use diligence in your actions, and you must never comingle any of the estate’s property with your personal assets.
Independent Executor/Administrator Deadlines
The Texas Estates Code imposes some of the following duties and deadlines:
- You must take your oath within 20 days after the date of the Order appointing you to serve;
- You must publish general notice to creditors within 30 days after taking your oath;
- You must give notice to heirs that are a State, governmental agency of the State, or charitable organization within 30 days after the date Will is probated;
- You must give registered or certified mail notice to secured creditors within 60 days after taking your oath;
- You must give notice to the beneficiaries under the Will within 60 days from the date the Will is probated;
- You must file a verified, full, and detailed Inventory, Appraisement, and List of Claims or an Affidavit in Lieu of Inventory if allowed within 90 days after taking your oath;
- You may give notice to unsecured creditors by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, before the estate administration is completed
- If applicable, you must file an individual tax return and pay income taxes for the decedent by April 15th of the year following the decedent’s death;
- If applicable, you must file an estate tax return within 9 months after the date of the decedent’s death;
- Additional deadlines may apply
There are many complexities associated with acting as the Independent Executor or Administrator of an estate in Texas. The guidance of a helpful and knowledgeable probate attorney will help ensure that the estate is properly administered.
To contact Houston Probate Attorney Stephanie Mudgett Boates, please call at (281) 584-0034.