The estate of any deceased Texas resident is subject to the Texas probate process. Probate involves the Texas Probate Court recognizing a person's death and authorizing administration of the person's estate. A person appointed as executor by the decedent's will can resign as executor for any reason. Someone may not want to fulfill the role of executor because the duties of executor -- which include distributing property, making a list of debts and notifying the life insurance company of the death -- are too time consuming or difficult to accomplish.
A person appointed as executor in the decedent's will can decline his appointment by filing a letter with the court when the probate process is initiated. When the testator -- the person who made the will -- dies, a representative from the testator's estate must start the probate process by filing an application for probate in a Texas probate court. At this time, the executor named in the will can decline to be officially appointed by the court as the executor. Another person can apply to be executor or the court will appoint an administrator at a later court hearing. When the court appoints a person to administer an estate, that person is called an administrator.
Resigning as Executor
An appointed executor or administrator who wishes to resign from her duties can submit a written application to the probate court stating her desire to resign. The application must also include an exhibit and final account of the estate the executor was meant to distribute. An exhibit and final account show the court and next executor the current status of the estate. The court clerk will post a notice in the courthouse to notify people who may want to attend the court hearing about the final account and executor resignation.
Read More: Can an Executor Probate a Will Without a Lawyer?
After the application to resign and final account of the estate is provided to the court clerk, a judge will set a time and date for a hearing. All interested persons will be notified of the court hearing and may contest the final account of the estate. The judge will examine the exhibit and final account and determine whether the executor complied with the law when handling the estate.
If the judge approves of the final account, he will issue an order of approval and require the remaining estate be transferred to whoever is entitled to receive it. The judge will then grant a final discharge to the executor, which means the court accepts the executor's resignation.
Vanessa Padgalskas was born and raised in Spokane, Wash., and currently resides in Portland, Ore. Padgalskas graduated from American University in 2007 with degrees in international studies and economics. She holds a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School.