Fiduciary Duty For Probate Texas

Acting as the executor of an estate will require time, effort, and attention to detail. It’s not an overly complicated role, but it does carry a tremendous amount of responsibility, including acting as a fiduciary throughout the process.

Being a fiduciary means that you have a legal obligation to always act in the best interests of the estate – even if it’s not in your own best interests. It requires the highest ethical standards, with most states requiring that you follow the standard of a “reasonable, prudent individual.”

Keeping accurate records of all your actions, especially financial transactions, will help you prove that you’ve been faithful to your fiduciary responsibility, as well as getting professional assistance in areas you may not be very familiar with, like real estate and business valuations, complex investments like cryptocurrency, etc.

Asset Protection

It can be a breach of your fiduciary responsibility if you fail to protect estate assets or do something damaging to the estate, like investing irresponsibly. Asset protection is a broad concept and ranges from ensuring valuables are locked up in a safe to ensuring that valuable insurance policies don’t lapse because of non-payment of premiums.

If there are substantial investment and insurance assets involved, consider enlisting the services of a professional investment manager or Certified Financial Planner.

Timely Filings

As executor, another fiduciary responsibility is to submit estate tax forms on time. Not doing so can result in you being held personally liable for damages.

In addition to submitting required forms in a timely manner, there may also be other important filings you’ll need to make, such as annual property taxes, business license fees, payroll taxes, etc. The help of a Certified Public Accountant can be helpful with many of these filings.

Limits of Authority

You also need to be sure that you have the authority to take significant actions. For example, if the estate is going through probate, don’t sell real property unless given permission by the court. If the decedent owned a business, make sure you understand the ownership situation and the legal rights of any co-owners before making any substantial changes, including liquidating the business or selling ownership shares. A corporate attorney can advise you in this area.

Fair Distributions

The estate’s heirs must receive what the will and other legal directives dictate that they receive; nothing more and nothing less. Therefore, you can’t show favoritism to anyone, such as through obvious excess distributions or those caused by skewed asset valuations.


As a fiduciary, it is in the estate’s best interests, and yours, to be able to account for the estate’s original assets and debts and what you did with each. Even if you aren’t ever held accountable by an individual like a family member or business partner, you’ll likely need to submit detailed records to the court if the estate is passing through probate.

Remember, failing to follow your fiduciary duty can be costly, both in terms of fines and possible jail time. As an executor, even honest mistakes can cause you significant legal and financial problems, so don’t try to take on this challenging role all alone if you’re dealing with a complex estate. You won’t be faulted for enlisting the aid of professional advisors, but you may be held accountable if you don’t.

Questions Concerning Probate and Real Estate?

Serving as an executor can be all-consuming. Certain aspects of settling an estate require significant time and effort, like handling an estate’s real estate holdings.

EstateExec is an online service that helps estate executors perform their duties. Every year, more than 3M people die in the US and Canada, and by law their estates must be settled, with this responsibility often falling to a family member. Although the primary user of EstateExec is the estate executor, it's also common for the original estate owner to purchase a license in advance of his or her death, to make the executor's job easier.

If you have questions concerning probate and real estate in Tarrant, Parker, Wise, Collin, Denton, or Dallas County, contact David Pannell and Cities Real Estate. David has extensive experience helping families with their real estate needs before, during, and after the probate process.

David has been an agent/realtor since 2005. He has served as a United States Marines, City of Arlington police officer, and is a dedicated family man. You can trust him to put your interests first in any and all situations.

Call David today at (817) 797-9047 for help with your real estate and probate needs. You will be treated respectfully, and your requirements will be met efficiently and confidentially.

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Information is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS or NTREIS. The information being provided is for the consumer's personal, non-commercial use, and may not be reproduced, redistributed or used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Cities Real Estate (Fort Worth) are marked with the NTREIS IDX logo and information about them includes the name of the listing brokerage.

NTREIS data last updated June 19, 2024.

Why Hire Us?

We help FAMILIES GOING THROUGH PROBATE with all the tasks that the attorneys don’t do. We find that most people need help with cleaning out the houses, assist the executors in finding the right estate sell companies in the area, help with donating personal property the family doesn’t want. We even educate you with small recommendations that will improve the property to get a better price; because so many investors are trying to buy estate properties for 40-50% of their value. Some of our best clients have come from the PROBATED Estates. with understanding the family’s goals then offering you some options to choose from.

We have expertise in HELPING Personal Representatives get to their desired outcome FASTER, SMOOTHER, and with MUCH LESS STRESS! We have built an entire team and service hub around the probate process, that will allow YOU to focus on YOUR busy life and not worry about all the details.

Let US help you gain COMPLETE control of the probate process. Working with the Probate Services team will reduce the stress of dealing with this major g this life transition.

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