What makes a good executor?

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2022 | Estate Planning |

An executor serves as the decedent’s personal representative during probate. A testator names an executor when writing a will, and as long as the will is valid under Texas law, the named person may serve as a legitimate representative once approved by the court. In part, the executor’s duties involve addressing the estate’s obligations and distributing assets. Some relatives might lobby for the job, but not everyone is cut out for the responsibilities.

An appropriate executor

Among the most important traits for an executor is honesty. An executor must follow through with the directives presented in the will and follow any instructions legally mandated by the probate court. Of course, the executor must be honest with all the attorneys and the judge. Dishonest and deceitful behavior might lead to more than the executor’s removal. Criminal charges may result. Lying to the court is perjury.

While the average person may never consider doing anything illegal or dishonest, many well-meaning individuals might not be prompt or punctual. Perhaps the executor’s duties prove overwhelming, leading to delays. Anything that drags out the probate process could prove costly and may result in beneficiaries seeking to have an executor removed.

Attention to detail remains a critical attribute of an executor. They may find themselves writing emails and sending text messages to numerous parties that had previous business with the decedent. Omitting details could lead to problems and wasted time.

Choosing an executor

When writing a will, a testator chooses an executor. The testator may need to make the selection carefully. Otherwise, problems might arise during probate due to an executor’s incompetence.

Perhaps meeting with potential executors and discussing the estate could be helpful. Advanced preparation may lead someone to perform the duties better.