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Fiduciary Duty as an Executor of an Estate

Fiduciary Duty as an Executor of an Estate

Being an executor or personal representative in an estate and a trustee of a trust comes with significant responsibilities and duties. 

In the state of Texas, as in many other jurisdictions, the executor has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries and to the estate and/or trust. This means that the executor is held to a high standard of care and must act in the best interests of the beneficiaries, while avoiding conflicts of interest.

Here are some of the general fiduciary duties and responsibilities that an executor or trustee generally has in Texas:

  • Loyalty:
    • The executor must act in the best interests of the estate or trusts and its beneficiaries and avoid any conflicts of interest.
  • Prudence:
    •  The executor is expected to manage the estate’s or trust’s assets with care, skill, and caution.
  • Impartiality:
    • If there are multiple beneficiaries, the executor or trustee should act impartially and not favor one beneficiary over another.
  • Preservation of Estate or Trust Assets:
    • The executor or trustee should take reasonable steps to protect and preserve the estate’s or trust’s assets.
  • Accurate Accounting:
    • Within the limits of the laws or governmetn documents, the executor or truste must provide accurate accounting records detailing all financial transactions related to the estate or trust.
  • Distribution:
    • The executor or trustee is responsible for ensuring that the estate’s or trust’s assets are distributed according to the terms of the will (or according to Texas intestate laws if there’s no will) or trust.
  • Payment of Debts and Taxes:
    • Before distributions to beneficiaries, the executor or trustee should ensure that all legitimate debts, expenses, and taxes of the estate or trust are paid.
  • Transparency:
    • The executor or trustee should provide regular updates and communicate with beneficiaries about the status of the estate or trust.
  • Compliance:
    • The executor or trustee needs to ensure compliance with all legal and procedural requirements, which may include filing necessary documents with the probate court, paying taxes, and notifying creditors.
  • Good Faith:
    • The executor or trustee must act in good faith and not engage in any self-dealing or actions that could be detrimental to the estate or trust or its beneficiaries.

Fiduciary Duty Attorneys

If you would like to learn more about the fiduciary duties and go over some of your situation, make sure to review our website and access additional information to help you move forward. We know how emotionally devastating and tricky these situations can be.

We are Dallas Probate Attorneys  We help clients navigate the probate process and handle probate litigation if necessary.

Our Dallas Probate Attorneys provide a full range of probate services to our clients, including helping with fiduciary litigation. Affordable rates, fixed fees, and payment plans are available. We provide step-by-step instructions, guidance, checklists, and more for completing the probate process. We have years of combined experience we can use to support and guide you with probate and estate matters.