If you’re the executor of a deceased Texas resident’s estate, you’ll have many different duties to fulfill. For instance, you’ll need to inventory assets, make sure that outstanding tax debts are paid and ensure that creditor claims are acknowledged and processed in a timely manner. Let’s take a closer look at these and other responsibilities that you may have while trying to settle a friend or loved one’s estate.

The first step is to open a probate proceeding

In many cases, the first step in settling a person’s estate is to open a probate proceeding. At this time, you’ll submit a copy of the deceased individual’s will to the court and ask that you be permitted to act as the estate executor. Typically, probate will be overseen by a court in the county where the person passed away. However, it may be possible to file a will in a county where an individual owned property.

Let creditors and heirs know that a person has passed away

Once you have the authority to act as the estate’s executor, you should publish a formal notice to creditors in a newspaper. This gives creditors an opportunity to make claims against the estate if they are owed money. After debts have been paid off, heirs and other beneficiaries can receive their inheritance. They can be notified about a person’s death either by mail, a phone call or other appropriate methods.

There may be many small tasks to account for

An executor may need to close a deceased person’s bank or credit card accounts. It may also be necessary to cancel newspaper service or other subscription services. Furthermore, the government should be notified that an individual is no longer entitled to benefit payments.

An estate administration attorney may be able to help you in your role as executor. Legal counsel could analyze claims made by creditors or ensure that taxes and other debts are paid in a timely and appropriate manner.