FAQ of Independent Executors

Q: I was just named Independent Executor of someone’s will – what should I do?

You should understand the importance of your job as independent executor of someone’s estate and the duties and powers that follow. You should also consult a qualified probate attorney since an independent executor acts in a fiduciary capacity, and failure to fulfill those obligations may subject the executor to liability. Your attorney will select the correct probate proceeding, file the application and the original will for probate with the county court clerk’s office, appear at the court hearing, and secure a court order admitting the will for probate.

Q: What are Letters Testamentary and what do I need these for?

Gathering information and gaining control of the estate’s assets is an Independent Executor’s first job. Letters Testamentary provide proof that you are the person designated and authorized to act on behalf of the deceased’s estate. You must present Letters Testamentary to individuals or companies holding assets of the estate, so they know you are the representative and that you are entitled to take possession of and transfer assets. Banks, brokerage firms, title and insurance companies are the types of entities that may request Letters Testamentary.

Q: What should I do when I’m ready to distribute the estate property?

You should ensure that all debts and taxes of the estate are paid. Then, you must review the will carefully distribute the assets according to the will or state law. Again, you should consult with a probate attorney who can assist you with this process.

Our Houston office conveniently serves our clients in Harris, Montgomery, and Fort Bend counties. Call The Law Office of Gary E. Patterson, P.C. today for assistance with all your probate questions.


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