Blogs

Who can be an Independent Executor or Administrator in Texas?

April 21st, 2022

2022

In Texas, the Court may appoint an independent executor or an independent administrator only to “qualified” representatives.  Wait, that's pretty subjective!  What makes a person qualified?

The Texas Estates Code defines who may be an independent executor or administrator.  A person is qualified to serve if:

  1. They are not incapacitated, temporarily or permanently;
  2. They have not been convicted of any felony under federal or state law;
  3. (a) They are a resident of Texas, or (b) They are a non-resident of Texas, but have appointed a resident of Texas to accept service of process in all proceedings related to the Estate and have filed that appointment with the Court;
  4. If the representative is a corporation, the company must be authorized to act as a fiduciary in Texas; and
  5. The court does not find the person nominated as the representative to be “Unsuitable.”

What does it mean to be unsuitable in the eyes of the Court?  The Texas Estate Code does not define "unsuitable."  A suitable representative generally means that the person nominated is not hostile to the court, the person appears to understand the responsibility they are accepting, and the person does not have a clear conflict of interest.

 

What is a conflict of interest?  Again, the statute does not precisely define what constitutes a conflict.  But, it has generally been found to exist when the Court believes the representative will act for his/her own personal benefit.  For example, this has been found in a situation where the nominated representative is the owner of a company that was a significant creditor of the estate, thereby pitting the representative’s personal ownership stake in the creditor company against the interests of the Estate and beneficiaries.

 

Note, a representative is allowed to be both an independent administrator and a beneficiary – this is not the conflict of interest that is meant here.  Also note, that a creditor of the Estate may also be appointed as the independent executor or administrator.

 

Do you have questions about who can serve as an independent executor or independent administrator of an estate?  Contact the Heights Law Group  to get your questions answered today.  Call (832) 810-3373 or send an email to info@heightslawgroup.com

 

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply