Austin Dependent Administrator Lawyer and Austin Dependent Administration Lawyer Represents Families Who Have Lost a Loved One and Need to Transfer or Sell Estate Property Through a Dependent Administration by Austin Dependent Administrator Lawyer and Austin Dependent Administration Lawyer Jason S. Coomer
When a person dies without a Will or with a Will that does not name an Independent Executor, the person's estate is often required to go through a dependent administration. This is especially true when the decedent leaves behind minor heirs or the decedent's heirs cannot agree regarding estate issues. When an estate is required to go through a dependent administration, the administrator is required to be bonded and to obtain court permission prior to selling estate property.
Austin Dependent Administrator Lawyer and Austin Dependent Administration Lawyer Jason Coomer works with dependent administrators and families that required to go through a dependent administration including selling real property, inventorying estate property, and distributing estate property. For questions on Austin Texas Dependent Administration Lawsuits, please e-mail Austin Dependent Administration Lawyer and Austin Dependent Administrator Lawyer Jason S. Coomer or use our contact form.
Executors and Administrators under Texas Probate Law
In many instances the terms administrator and executor are almost interchangeable. They are both probate terms that refer to the person who has been appointed by a Texas probate court to act for an estate. It is similar to acting through a power of an attorney for another person. The administrator is given letters of administration and the executor is given letters of testament. These letters can give the administrator or executor the power to act for an estate including collecting estate property, selling estate property, and distributing estate property. However, under dependent administrations and in other specific situations, the letters must be combined with court approval to transfer or sell some types of estate property.
The term “executor” refers to the person named in a Will to carry out the terms and provisions of the Will. In most Wills, the executor is names as an independent executor which means that the executor can act without court approval. If someone dies without a Will, an administrator can be appointed to perform similar duties as the executor. The administrator follows Texas law instead of the Will and can also be independent or dependent depending on the estate and court. Texas law prescribes a list of those people entitled to serve as administrator as well as people that are excluded from serving as an executor. Understanding the duties, roles, and powers of an administrator or executor are extremely important in determining who should be appointed to be an administrator or an executor and what limits should on their powers.
The Executor or Administrator has three main duties or functions including:
Identifying/Collecting Assets: The Executor is responsible for identifying all assets of the Decedent including homes, automobiles, mineral interests, bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, pensions, other real estate, personal property, and jewelry. A listing of the Decedent's assets at the time of death will need to be provided to the Court (this is called the “Inventory”). This is done, so that the Court & beneficiaries understand the full extent of the assets in the estate. Once all of the assets have been identified, the Executor must collect and protect those assets. For instance, the Executor will close bank accounts and open an account in the name of the Estate. Real estate should be secured and insured. Stock certificates should be safeguarded.
Determining, Noticing, & Paying Debts: The Executor has the responsibility to notify all creditors of the death of the Decedent and determine what debts the estate has. In doing this the Executor will receive and approve or deny all Claims filed by Creditors of the estate. Once the assets of the Estate have been collected and the creditor claims identified, then the Executor has the responsibility to pay the outstanding debts of the estate. If the debts exceed the amount of assets in the estate, the Probate Code lays out the method by which the debts will be pro-rated.
Distributing Remaining Assets: Once all of the assets have been collected and the debts paid, the Executor or Administrator has the responsibility to distribute the remaining assets pursuant to the provisions of the Will, or if the Decedent died without a Will, then the assets are distributed according to the provisions of the Probate Code. Generally, the Executor should attempt to obtain a Receipt from each of the beneficiaries or heirs receiving a portion of the Estate. Those receipts should be filed with the Court as evidence that the Executor has correctly fulfilled his final duties.
Austin Texas Probate Attorney Jason Coomer drafts Wills, assists in Estate Planning, and handles Probate Matters. For questions on Estate Planning, Wills, or Texas Probate matters, please e-mail Austin Estate Planning lawyer Jason S. Coomer at email@example.com or use our contact form.
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