When you die, any assets that are held in your Texas estate will likely be subject to probate. This may be true even if those items are accounted for in a pour-over will. You are allowed to appoint a person to represent your interests during probate, and there are several variables to consider before choosing an executor.
Is this person up to the task?
During the probate process, your executor will need to inventory your assets, handle creditor claims and ensure that assets are distributed according to your instructions. Therefore, your executor will need to have adequate people skills and show an ability to pay attention to details. If you don’t have anyone who you trust to serve as an executor, an estate planning attorney may be willing to serve in this role.
Don’t hesitate to name alternate representatives
At some point after your will is executed, your designated representative may decide to renege on his or her promise to help settle your affairs. It is also possible that this person won’t be mentally fit to be an executor at the time of your death. Finally, there is a chance that a named executor will pass before you do. By naming an alternate, you minimize the risk that a judge may ultimately have to choose a representative on your estate’s behalf.
Your representative should understand your final wishes
Ideally, the person who represents your estate will be someone who has a clear understanding of your estate planning goals. Therefore, you may want to choose a close friend, spouse or someone with whom you have a longstanding relationship. It is also a good idea to have estate planning conversations with this person on a regular basis to ensure that your wishes are clearly understood.
An attorney may be able to help you create a will, trust or other estate plan document. This person might also review any estate plan documents that you have created to ensure that they comply with state law.