Estate Executor

The Morning After – Executor’s Role After a Death

If you have never served as an executor of a will, then you probably have no idea what your official duties are in the first moments and days following the person’s death.   Executor’s Role Directly After a Death There is a legal answer to that question – you have none. That is because you are not yet the executor.  An executor is a court-created role. You are not an executor until...

Estate Executor Checklist

Estate Administration Swimming with the Sharks Chances are fairly good that you will, at some time or another, serve as an independent executor of an estate.  Your chances increase exponentially if you are married (spouses are customarily named in a will as executor) or are an only child. Being an independent executor is a fairly easy gig if you also happen to be the sole beneficiary and there is no conflict with other family...

An Inheritance Lost – Early Estate Grab Goes Wrong

  Here is how to lose your grandmother's 4.15 carat marquise cut diamond ring to your former wife. First, when your grandmother dies, become the administrator of her estate. Second, pull your grandmother’s very valuable diamond ring from the custodian account in a New York bank and have it sent to you. Do this even though you have not settled the entire estate, and you are not the only beneficiary entitled to...

Working for Peanuts – Executors Have to Push for Payment

Happily for executors everywhere in our wonderful state of Texas the law against involuntary servitude is still in place. That means you are entitled to be paid for your service as an executor. How much? Grab a cup of coffee and prepare to settle in – the answer is not so simple. A well-drafted will usually has a paragraph about compensation. It may be hourly, a flat fee, a percentage of...

Into the Line of Fire – Federal Gun Laws Stymie Estate Executors

It is fairly common when a gun owner dies for his or her probate estate to end up holding firearms. That may be hazardous for the probate executor and the beneficiaries, whose ignorance of the federal and state gun laws could result in some pretty lengthy jail time. First, some background. Texas lightly regulates the buying and selling of firearms. In contrast, the federal government heavily regulates every part of the...

The 4 Most Common Mistakes by an Executor for a Probate Estate

Serving as an executor for a probate estate can be tough. An executor has a duty to gather estate assets, settle estate debts, file the required tax returns, and distribute the remaining property to the beneficiaries per the Will.  Often that means wading through a lot of paperwork, dealing with family drama, and not receiving many kudos in return.   To add insult to injury, the executor is a fiduciary and...
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