When a family member passes away in Texas or any part of the country, it is not unusual for a will to have been left behind dictating certain actions pertaining to the estate. An executor is often named to carry out the instructions in the will, but this individual is commonly a family member who may not have extensive knowledge on how to handle the required duties. In some cases, a mistake could lead to probate litigation.
One mistake that individuals may make as executor is failing to inform all potential heirs of the estate. Some parties may think that the individuals specifically named in the will are the only ones that need to be informed, but that is often not the case. Extended family or other parties could potentially also have a claim against the estate despite not being named in the will. If these parties are not informed, legal complications could arise.
Additionally, individuals acting as executors may find it prudent to keep detailed records of their dealings with the estate. These records may come in handy if beneficiaries want to challenge certain aspects of how the estate was handled. If these records are not kept, concerned parties may feel litigation is necessary.
Though being an executor is a significant responsibility, individuals may be able to carry out their duties effectively if they work to become better informed about the process. If Texas residents are concerned about their abilities and the potential for probate litigation, they may wish to discuss their circumstances with an experienced estate administration attorney. Such assistance could help parties possibly avoid complicated litigation and/or more effectively navigate legal proceedings.
Source: natlawreview.com, “Common Pitfalls Made by Executors of Estates“, Paul W. Norris, May 13, 2016