The passing of a loved one is a major event for most Texas residents. The lives of many people may be changed considerably, and individuals put in charge of the decedents' final affairs will have many tasks to handle, especially when it comes to probate. Executors typically know ahead of time that they will face these duties, and taking certain steps soon after the death may be wise.
One of the most important tasks of an executor is to protect the deceased's property. In the days and weeks after a person's death, it is not unusual for family members or friends to come forward looking for certain items. However, items should not be distributed until probate has taken place. In order to protect those assets, executors typically need access to their loved ones' homes, and they may even need to change the locks.
Another way to protect assets relates to freezing the decedent's financial accounts. Because obituaries tend to provide certain personal information, nefarious individuals could potentially attempt to gain access to the accounts of recently deceased people. By freezing accounts, an executor may limit the possibility of this taking place.
It may seem like an untrustworthy act to access a recently deceased person's home and start changing the locks, but it may be necessary to protect property. Because acting as executor means Texas residents will face many responsibilities that could prove difficult to handle, information on probate and other aspects of closing an estate may be useful. Concerned individuals may wish to obtain the help of experienced attorneys during these proceedings.
Source: kiplinger.com, "5 Things to Do the Moment a Loved One Passes Away", Daniel A. Timins, April 17, 2018