Texas residents who have been appointed as an executor may want to familiarize themselves with the testator’s will. They should also know where any important documents are located. When testators die and the executors begin their duties, they are permitted to hire an attorney or other professionals to assist them. They should keep careful records of their actions, including financial actions, throughout the process, which beneficiaries have the right to review at any time.

The executor’s initial steps are to order death certificates, contact beneficiaries and such interested parties as credit card companies and the Social Security Administration, and file the will in probate court. It is also necessary to open a bank account in the name of the estate and get a tax ID number for the estate. The executor is responsible for taking care of any of the estate’s property until its distribution to beneficiaries. The executor must also submit a list of assets and their value to the court.

The next tasks for the executor are to file taxes and pay any taxes and outstanding bills. At this stage, assets can be distributed to beneficiaries, remaining property must be disposed of and a final accounting must be prepared and submitted to the court.

Choosing the right executor for an estate plan is important. People do not have to have expertise in finances or legal issues, but they should be trustworthy and organized. An attorney can help an individual prepare an estate plan, including helping to ensure that documents use the correct legal language. Attorneys may also suggest solutions to certain estate planning issues. For example, if an individual has a loved one with special needs who would become ineligible for government benefits on receiving an inheritance, a trust could solve this problem.