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Removing an executor by a beneficiary in Texas

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2021 | Probate Litigation

An executor in Texas is someone trusted to carry out a decedent’s wishes after their passing. Sometimes an executor can neglect their responsibilities or get caught up in their own interests, making life very difficult for the beneficiaries. If this happens to you, here’s how you can remove an executor.

What are the duties of an executor?

An executor (or executrix) has the following duties in Texas:

  • Within the first 90 days of being appointed, they should identify and take inventory of the testator’s assets.
  • Finding creditors, notifying them of the decedent’s debts, and then paying off all the debts.
  • Looking for people that owed the decedent and recovering the funds.
  • Paying taxes and any other necessary payment.
  • Finding all the beneficiaries and distributing assets as per the decedent’s wishes.

The executor has fiduciary duties to preserve and manage the estate’s assets accordingly and act loyally to the benefit of the beneficiaries. In most cases, there isn’t much oversight over the executor’s actions; the court only requires them to file an inventory after every 90 days. This is so because most estate owners want the probate process to go faster and be cheaper for the beneficiaries.

Removing an executor

You can remove an executor through probate litigation if you feel like they are not doing their jobs well. The grounds for removing an executor in Texas include:

  1. Incapacity – When the executor is incapable of performing their duties, for example, if they are convicted and sentenced to jail or are suffering from an illness like dementia, you can remove them.
  2. Conflict of interest – You can remove an executor when they do their own dealings with the decedent’s estate, breach their fiduciary duties, misapplication of funds, etc.
  3. Failing to perform duties – An executor must perform all their duties as mentioned above. If they fail even to provide the court with necessary documents on time, you can remove them.
  4. Brazen misconduct – When an executor steals part of estate assets or has poor management skills, you can not only oust them but also prosecute them.

Texas law protects decedents’ properties and their beneficiaries. If an executor is taking advantage of their position for their own interests or is incapable of performing their duties, you should remove them before it’s too late.