Being named executor of an estate can bring about mixed emotions. Some people may feel honored that their loved ones trusted them with such responsibility, and others may feel overwhelmed by the idea of going through probate. In particular, Texas residents may worry about the possibility of estate disputes and having to go through probate litigation.
The possibility of conflict exists with nearly every estate. Because most people know that legal proceedings can be costly, executors may wonder what funds they could use in order to handle probate litigation. Fortunately, when conflict arises in relation to a person's will, such as challenges to the contents of the document or distribution of assets, an executor can utilize estate funds in order to handle the legal proceedings and costs of legal counsel.
However, if issues come about regarding non-probate assets, it may be a different story. Non-probate assets include property that does not need to go through the deceased individual's estate in order to be transferred to another person, such as jointly-held property or payable on death accounts. If an individual wants to challenge the transfer of this type of property, the executor may not have the ability to use estate funds for any legal expenses needed to address the conflict.
Probate litigation and many aspects of the probate process overall can prove immensely complicated. Because of the potential for confusion and conflicts, it may prove wise for Texas executors to have knowledgeable professionals on their sides. Consulting with experienced attorneys could help concerned parties better understand the proceedings associated with closing an estate and how to handle any disputes.
Source: jerseyshoreonline.com, "Can An Executor Use Estate Assets To Pay Counsel Fees", April 26, 2018