Many people still owe money upon death, so if you become an estate executor in Texas, you will likely have to deal with parties who will try to recoup their debts with money from the estate. You may wonder if it is your duty to let creditors know about the estate in the first place.
State law describes executor duties to identify and give notice to any creditors of the estate. This ensures the resolution of claims before probate is complete.
Communicating with secured creditors
Under Texas law, you must notify any creditor with a secured claim against the estate within two months of receiving your letters testamentary. A secured creditor has a lien against property of the estate as collateral for a debt. Common examples are mortgage lenders and car loan companies.
To notify a secured creditor, you must send notice by certified mail with return receipt requested. The notice must include the date you received the letters testamentary and the address where the creditor can submit a claim.
Communicating with unsecured creditors
For creditors without a security interest in estate property, you have a few options for giving notice. Within one month of receiving letters testamentary, you must publish a general notice to creditors in a local newspaper.
Alternatively, you can send individual notices to unsecured creditors by certified mail at any time during the estate administration. The mailed notice must clearly state the deadline for the creditor to present a claim, usually four months from receipt of the notice.
Regardless of how you send messages to creditors, properly file all notices and affidavits with the probate court to demonstrate compliance with notice requirements. Creditors who do not receive proper notice may make a claim against you personally if they cannot present claims against the estate due to failure to make a timely presentation.