Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Who Cannot Become the Personal Representative of an Estate?

Texas law specifically excludes the following persons from qualifying to serve as the personal representative (executor or administrator) of a deceased’s probate estate:

a) An incapacitated person (someone who is mentally or physically unable to handle his or her own affairs);

b) A convicted felon, unless such person has been pardoned, or his or her civil rights have been restored by a court;

c) A non-resident of the State of Texas, unless he or she has appointed a Texas resident as an “agent” to accept service of process in all actions or proceedings with respect to the estate;

d) A corporation not authorized to act as a fiduciary in the State of Texas; or

e) Any person the Court finds to be “unsuitable”. 

In addition, if the will designates the deceased’s former spouse to serve as personal representative of the estate and the marriage was subsequently dissolved by divorce, annulment or judicial declaration that the marriage was void, that former spouse cannot be appointed as personal representative of the estate except under very unusual circumstances. 

Article by Cynthia W. Veidt, Attorney