Katy, TX asked in Estate Planning, Banking and Probate for Texas

Q: Who is responsible for Bill's such as electrity and water and car payments and insurance payments when someone dies

Father died back in 2019 in july verbally naming brother as PR of estate. Wondering if him charging the estate 35 dollars an hour and saying that he has 958 hours of work on the estate is unreasonable or if the judge will see that as unreasonable. He says hes done extraordinary measures the whole time dealing with our fathers estate. Which most of the stuff on his motion is non extraordinary and is stuff that is supposed to be done by a PR.

2 Lawyer Answers
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: The estate is responsible for the bills. It matters not what your father said. If he did not leave a Will which has been submitted to probate (proving that it is his Will), anyone can apply to the court to settle the estate. After the court has appointed that person administrator, he may charge no more than 5% of what the estate earned (interest, stock dividends, etc.) and 5% of what it distributed without applying to the court for permission. If he claims that his work was worth more than these percentages, evidence of the actual work and fair market value for that work will be required.

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Richardson, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: You can't verbally appoint a PR prior to death. Your uncle may be acting as if he's the PR, but if he's not appointed by the judge, then he's not really the PR. Any of the heirs could apply to become the actual PR. Also, I agree with Ms. Garrett that the fees that need to be paid to a PR are set by the Texas Estates Code and/or approved by the judge. You should talk with a probate lawyer to get this ship pointed in the right direction.

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