If someone named you as their personal representative, it probably means that you held a position of trust. Your loved one probably had confidence that you would make the right decisions about the estate. However, the Texas inheritance process is not something you have to navigate by yourself.
Your loved one has recently passed away and other family members are beginning the process of executing the deceased's estate plan in Texas. Learning that you were not named in his or her will despite the connection you had to the deceased, as well as the relationship you maintained throughout the years, can be incredibly challenging and saddening. At Doehring & Doehring Attorneys at Law, we have helped many people prepare for probate.
When people begin the process of planning their estate in Texas, they may be facing uncertainty and hesitation when it comes time to designating beneficiaries and heirs. They may have anxiety about choosing the right people and hoping that they do not offend anyone in making decisions regarding how they would like their assets to be split. This concern is valid considering how often surviving family members quibble over what should be done with a deceased person's remaining assets.
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.
In the most basic sense of the law, and according to Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute, "undue influence" occurs when one party of a contract puts the free will of another party into question and therefore, leads to the courts declaring the contract unenforceable and voidable by the victim. To prove undue influence, the victim party has the burden of proof to show that he or she has a weakness which makes him or her more likely to be affected by persuasion. Moreover, the victim party must also prove that the influencer has a special relationship with the victim that makes the victim more susceptible to persuasion.
Being named the personal representative of a Texas estate comes with many responsibilities. While anyone can make a mistake, serious errors in judgment that negatively affect the assets of the estate could lead to a lawsuit. In fact, a personal representative may be held personally liable for the damages the error caused.
As people near retirement age, they often face the excitement and anticipation of having more time to pursue their passions, travel and spend time with family members. However, as people age, they also face the very real risk of being taken advantage of in some way. More often, there are stories on the news of seniors in Texas who have been cheated or lied to because of someone's fraudulent behavior.
You have recently begun to rethink your will and are considering modifying the heirs you have designated in your original estate plan. Fortunately for you, changing things around is relatively easy and allows you to make needed modifications as your life changes. However, disinheriting a family member can be a bit stressful as you try to do it without causing hurt feelings. At Doehring & Doehring Attorneys at Law, we have helped many families in Texas to coordinate, modify and finalize their estate plan.
There may come a time when you need someone in Texas to take on some of your financial responsibilities. The cause could be a trip out of the country, incapacitation because of a car accident or even age and dementia. We at Doehring & Doehring Attorneys at Law understand that designating fiduciary representation is an essential component of estate planning.