The passing of a loved one often signals a number of changes in surviving family members’ lives. It also means that a great deal of obligations will need attending to, including closing the deceased’s estate. The probate process can be long and tedious, and the appointed executor will need to address the necessary responsibilities.

When a Texas resident is named as an executor, he or she takes on a fiduciary role. This means that the person has the obligation to remain trustworthy and take actions that will benefit the estate and its beneficiaries. The individual also has the responsibility of understanding the decedent’s final wishes, and carrying out those wishes as dictated in the will or other related documents.

Taking an estate through probate leaves little room for mistakes. If an executor does make a mistake, serious problems could result. For instance, if an executor makes asset distribution too soon, the estate may not have enough funds to cover taxes or creditor costs. Additionally, mistakes could cause heirs and beneficiaries to believe that the executor has not acted appropriately, which could potentially lead to litigation.

While probate is often necessary to ensure that an estate is settled, it can be an immensely stressful process. A great deal of responsibility is placed on the shoulders of executors, and it can feel overwhelming to take on the position. Fortunately, Texas residents can bring in professional help, such as attorneys, to guide them through the process and ensure that the proper steps have been taken to settle final affairs.