Texas Restrictions on Who Can Serve as Executor

Learn the rules about who can be your executor in Texas.

By , MSLIS · Long Island University
Updated by Jeff Burtka, Attorney · George Mason University Law School

One of the most important reasons to make a will is to name your executor. After your death, your executor's primary job is to protect your property until any debts and taxes have been paid, and then transfer what's left to those who are entitled to it.

Every state has some rules about who may serve as the executor of an estate that goes through probate. Here are the requirements in Texas.

Basic Requirements for Serving as a Texas Executor

Your executor must be:

  • at least 18 years old, and
  • of sound mind—that is, not judged incapacitated by a court.

(Tex. Est. Code §§ 304.003; 1002.017; 1002.019 (2024).)

Many states prohibit people who have felony convictions from serving as executor. In Texas, people who have been convicted of a felony generally can't be executor unless they have been pardoned or had all civil rights restored. But if you name a person with a felony conviction as your executor in your will, a court can approve your choice if they are otherwise qualified to serve. (Tex. Est. Code § 304.003 (2024).)

Special Rules for Executors in Texas

In addition to the restrictions above, a Texas probate court will reject a potential executor found to have a conflict of interest or who is otherwise "unsuitable." (See Tex. Est. Code § 304.003 (2024); Olguin v. Jungman, 931 S.W.2d 607 (1996).)

Rules for Corporate Executors

While you can name a corporation as your executor, it must be authorized to act as a fiduciary in Texas. (Tex. Est. Code § 304.003 (2024).)

That said, think carefully before appointing a bank or trust company to represent your estate. It's almost always best to name an individual; consider an institution only if you don't know anyone you trust enough to serve or your estate is very large and complex.

Texas Restrictions on Out-of-State Executors

For practical reasons, it's smart to name an executor who lives near you. Your executor may have to handle day-to-day matters for weeks, months, or sometimes longer. If you must appoint an executor who lives far away, you should know the requirements Texas imposes on out-of-state executors.

In Texas, a nonresident executor—including an out-of-state corporation—must appoint someone who lives in the state to act as a resident agent. Your executor's in-state agent will accept legal papers on behalf of your estate. (Tex. Est. Code § 304.003 (2024).)

Learn More

For more information about choosing your executor and making your will, see the Wills section of Nolo.com.

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