Livens & Reed, PLLC

Probate is not always easy for an executor

Dealing with disputes and challenges is not always what someone imagines when he or she accepts the duty of being executor of a loved one's Texas estate. Most may imagine the executor as the one who doles out the assets according to the wishes of the deceased. However, along with the many and sometimes complex responsibilities, an executor often takes on considerable risk from the earliest days of the probate process.

Two heads are not always better than one, and a testator who names two or more individuals to be co-executors may be leaving these individuals with trouble. Working as a team is not always possible, such as when one executor lives in another state, when one has few financial skills or when one is not willing to cooperate with the other. However, even when working alone, an executor may face conflict.

Heirs to the estate often get impatient with the executor and may even challenge the way he or she is handling probate. It is common for some heirs to help themselves to the estate's assets before probate is over, and others may blame the executor for the loss since it is his or her duty to protect those assets. Since executors are often siblings or other family members of the heirs, this can cause hard feelings within the family, especially if it leads to litigation.

Being an estate executor is time-consuming and complicated. Whoever accepts the responsibility should expect to devote time and perhaps money toward a successful probate and accept the possibility that any mistakes will expose him or her to personal liability. When faced with the possibility of probate litigation, many executors reach out to a skilled Texas attorney.

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