If you have been named in a will as the executor of an estate in Texas, the county probate judge must decide if you are qualified to serve. Because the executor is responsible for protecting the assets, filing tax returns, paying bills, and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries, Texas law excludes certain groups of people from serving in that capacity. In today’s blog from the wills and trusts attorneys at Davidson Law Group, we explain the rules about who can be your executor in Texas.
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Requirements for Serving as a Texas Executor
All states enforce certain restrictions on who may serve as executor of an estate. The position involves a great deal of legal responsibility.
In Texas, an executor must be:
- at least 18 years old
- of sound mind — meaning that a court has no reason to believe the executor is mentally incapacitated.
- a U.S. resident
- You cannot have been convicted of a felony unless you have been pardoned and/or had all your civil rights restored.
A person is also not qualified to serve as executor if the court finds him/her unsuitable. This means that a trial judge can determine suitability based on the unique facts and circumstances of each case.
Texas Restrictions on Out-of-State Executors
There is no legal requirement that executors live in the state. However, for practical reasons, it is better for an executor to live nearby. The executor may have to handle legal and financial matters in person, over a period of weeks, months, or years. If the executor is living out of state, they must designate a Texas resident to serve as an in-state agent who accepts legal documents on behalf of your estate.
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Notifying the Court
A person who is chosen as an executor in a will does not have to agree to this responsibility. To decline, file a letter at the county probate court and the judge will appoint a qualified individual to serve as the executor in place of you.
Speak with a Wills and Trusts Attorney
It is best to choose a wills and trusts attorney when you become an executor of an estate. Managing an estate can be burdensome, but Davidson Law Group is here to make your life easier. If you need assistance with writing a will or naming an executor of your estate, we would be glad to help. To speak with our wills and trusts attorneys, contact our law firm in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler today.