The Duties of Personal Representatives Under Texas Law

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Many people set up trusts to manage their financial affairs under Texas law, both while they are alive and many times after they are deceased. The trust may have a so-called “personal representative.” In this blog post, we discuss the responsibilities of the so-called “personal representative.” If you or a loved one is facing a possible trust dispute under Texas law, reach out to one of our Dallas-based trust litigation attorneys for a consultation.

Estate Disputes in Texas

If you are appointed as an independent executor or dependent administrator, you will have certain duties. For example, there are duties of loyalty, duties of impartiality, duties of disclosure and duties of competency. These fiduciary duties are designed to protect the interests of the heirs of the Decedent’s estate, the taxing authorities, and the estate creditors. The list below is a non-exhaustive list of duties.

• The executor/administrator should keep the heirs of the estate reasonably informed of the administration and use best efforts to promptly collect the assets and administer and settle the estate.

• The executor/administrator must always be in a position to account for all revenue received, moneys spent, assets sold (or for some reason purchased), and as to all other matters that directly or indirectly affect the estate.

• The executor/administrator should refrain from commingling the Decedent’s property with his/her own or that of any of your businesses or the Decedent’s business interests. Commingling usually is done with cash, and it is imperative that the executor/administrator does not commingle the Decedent’s funds with funds that are not part of the estate, not even for a day.

• The executor/administrator should not leave funds uninvested.

• The PR should refrain from self-dealing with any portion of Decedent’s estate.

Compliance with many of these guidelines can be accomplished by setting up appro¬priate estate accounts and handling the estate accounting matters in the manner described by the attorney representing you.

EDITOR’S SUMMARY

In this blog post, we learned some of the responsibilities of a “personal representative” under Texas law vis-à-vis a trust. Among the responsibilities is a prohibition against commingling financial assets. If you or a loved one may be facing a potential trust dispute up to and including a trust, estate, or inheritance litigation, reach out to one of our Dallas attorneys for a consultation. We also have a satellite law firm office in Plano, Texas.