According to MoneySense, the executor of a Texas estate has a duty to protect the estate, probate the will and pay both creditors and beneficiaries. An executor also has certain fiduciary duties, which you can learn more about below. If an estate administrator breaches any one of his or her duties, he or she may be subject to serious legal and financial ramifications. However, because a breach of duty affects the outcome of estate administration, it is important to identify an untrustworthy executor and take action to prevent him or her from abusing his or her powers.
First and foremost, it is important that you understand your rights as the beneficiary of an estate. Executors’ duties are fairly clear cut and fall into either a “do” or “do not” category. For instance, an executor must put the beneficiaries’ interests first. He or she must protect an estate’s assets, keep estate assets separate from his or her own assets, follow will instructions exactly and remain impartial throughout the administration process. He or she must also keep thorough and accurate financial records.
There are specific things an estate administrator must not do. Those include making a profit from his or her position, delegating his or her own personal decision-making responsibilities, putting his or her own interests ahead of an estate’s, buying estate assets without permission from beneficiaries and failing to act prudently with investments.
Though an estate executor does not have to answer every single one of your questions, he or she must keep you informed as to the status of the estate. Though you should not hold back from questioning, there are other ways in which you can avoid costly mistakes. For one, you can recognize the signs of conflicts of interest. If you have a dispute, request mediation to resolve said disputes. Learn what legal duties executors have and, when necessary, get your own legal representation. Finally, do not wait an executor commits any wrongdoing to act. If there is evidence of dishonesty, talk to an attorney about investigating breach of duty.
The information in this post should not be used as legal advice. It is for informational purposes only.