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When a person passes their estate will likely go through the probate process, whether a Last Will and Testament were prepared by the decedent or not. During the probate process, the estate will be collected, debts must be paid, and remaining assets distributed to beneficiaries. The person assigned the duty of managing the estate through this process is called an Executor or Administrator. Since state law governs the estate administration, the Executor or Administrator must follow state law regarding procedures and time frames.


If you are named as an Independent Executor in a Will or otherwise appointed by a Court to serve as an Independent Administrator of an estate in Texas, you become responsible for the task of administering the decedent’s estate. Being named and serving as an Independent Executor or Administrator is a position of great trust and responsibility and is not to be taken lightly.

The Executor or Administrator has essentially 3 duties, which are as follows:

Identify and Collect the assets of the Decedent’s estate;

Pay any debts that the Decedent owed at the time of his or her death; and

Distribute the remaining assets according to either the Will or pursuant to Texas

law if the Decedent died without a Will.

Within each of the duties listed above, the Executor or Administrator is going to have numerous responsibilities. Many of these executor responsibilities will be the same regardless of the type of probate administration you have (either independent or dependent), but the duties can vary significantly and become much more difficult if the administration is dependent.


The executor or administrator bears a substantial responsibility to the heirs and beneficiaries of the Estate, as well as a corresponding duty owed to the Probate Court. Prior to agreeing to serve as the Executor, you should fully understand the responsibilities of doing so.


At the Villegas Law Firm, we assist Executors and Administrators in fulfilling their duties and protecting them from pitfalls which could result in personal liabilities or lawsuits. For more information about our estate administration services or to schedule a consultation, call us today!

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