The duty of an executor is to oversee the administration of a decedent's estate and ensure that the terms of the will are followed. In Texas, an executor is required to take specific actions to be in compliance with the law. It can be a good idea for an executor retain an attorney to aide in the administration.
The executor must take possession of all the decedent's property and collect all claims and debts owed to the estate. The executor then must complete an inventory of the estate and submit it to the court. This inventory must include a list of all real estate located in Texas and all personal property, regardless of location. Additionally, the executor must distinguish between separate and community property within the estate. A list of claims owed to the estate must also be attached.
The executor must ensure that all creditors owed money from the estate have an opportunity to make a claim. Within 30 days of qualification, the executor must publish notice of his appointment in a newspaper in the county, notifying any creditors that the estate is being administered and claims can be submitted.
Within two months of qualification, the executor must mail a registered or certified letter, with return receipt requested, to each creditor holding a deed of trust, mortgage or some other lien upon the estate. Proof of both notices must be filed with the clerk's office.
For large estates, the executor must file a U.S. Estate Tax Return, Form 706. Both the state inheritance tax and federal estate tax must be paid before the estate can be closed.
Within 60 days of the will's probate, the executor must give notice to all beneficiaries named in the will. This notice must include a copy of the will and a copy of the order admitting the will to probate, in addition to any other requirements outlined in the statute. Within 90 days, the executor must file an affidavit or certificate with the court confirming that notice was given or explaining why it was not given.
Once all the other duties are completed, the executor's final obligation is to deliver any assets to the beneficiaries as directed by the will.