A valid will requires naming an individual as your estate’s executor. The individual you choose administers to the various needs that arise during probate. Under Chapter 304 of the Texas Estates Code, you may name a spouse, relative or trusted individual capable of working with the probate court to distribute your assets. The probate court may also refer to your executor as your personal representative.
As noted on the Texas.gov website, your representative’s responsibilities include selling your properties and paying debts. Executors also pay taxes and court fees related to the deceased’s estate. To help create a smooth probate process, you may choose an individual with whom you could begin discussing estate matters before you die.
Elements to discuss before you die
After your death, your representative collects titles to your properties, accounting books and business records. U.S. News notes that you may create a personal inventory list to include with your will. While a will names beneficiaries who receive assets, a list may describe specific properties and where your representative could find them.
You may also create a record of your real estate to help make it easier for the court to oversee transferring titles. You could include deeds and tax information so that your representative may settle any outstanding financial matters before your heirs take ownership.
Beneficiaries named on accounts
To help reduce your executor’s responsibilities, you could name transfer-on-death beneficiaries to your financial accounts. Many banks and brokerage firms allow clients to name a designated beneficiary who receives account assets after the owner dies. TOD accounts generally bypass probate and transfer directly to the individuals named as beneficiaries.
Wills may include instructions for distributing assets and taking care of pets. The probate process may be lengthy based on property locations or outstanding issues. You may reduce complications by preparing your personal representative before you die.