Wills and estate clients often worry about who should serve as executor of the estate.  That’s a great questions.  However, naming an executor is only the first step.  Clients should also ask:  “How can I Help My Executor?”

How To Help My Executor:  4 Helpful Tips

One – Keep Your Will In A Safe Place

Put some thought into where you will store your will.  Wills do not ordinarily get filed with the probate court while you’re alive.  So, you need to decide where it will be both safe and accessible.

Lawyer’s Office – Some lawyers will agree to keep your Last Will at their office.  I don’t offer this because I can’t guarantee that the office building won’t burn down, get water damage, etc.  I save copies of clients’ wills, but only the client has the original signed Last Will.

Safe Deposit Box – This option is okay if you make sure to jump through the hoops at the bank to make sure your executor can easily access the Will.  I’ve handled several cases where the Will was very difficult to get out of the safe deposit box because the executor wasn’t properly documented at the bank–ultimately, we had to get a court order demanding that the bank open the safe deposit box for us.

 Home Safe – This option is my favorite so long as the safe is fireproof, is waterproof, and your executor has the code to access the safe.


Two – Tell Your Executor Where Your Last Will Is Located

Sometimes, a named executor goes to the probate lawyer’s office and says, “I know there’s a Will, and I know I’m named as executor, but I have no idea where the Will is.”

The moral of the story is that you need to tell your executor where to find the Will and how to get access to the Will.  If you have alternate executors, they need to know where your Will is, too.



Three – Give Your Executor A Roadmap

My law office provides all Wills and Estates clients a “Letter of Instructions” for the executor.  This letter is a trail of breadcrumbs leading the executor to everything that needs to be done.  This letter, among other things, states where you have bank accounts, where you have life insurance policies, details about investments, and so forth.

It will be overwhelming for you executor after you die.  So, the more you can help your executor, the better.  For example, I hear probate clients say, “I now mom had a brokerage account, but I have no idea who it was with!”


Four – Help Your Executor With Your “Digital Assets”

In your Letter of Instructions, be sure to give account numbers and passwords.  Most individuals have online access to accounts, so make sure your executor has passwords and web addresses for important accounts.

If you have important files or photos saved on a computer, tell your executor how to access all those files.  Everything is digital today, and those pictures are special to your family.  It would be a shame for photos or other important computer files to be lost because your family didn’t know about them.




Visit www.ShuttLawFirm.com for more information on “how to help my executor” in Texas, what to do as named executor of the estate, executor’s duties, or any other Texas probate question, contact Dallas, Texas probate lawyer Isaac Shutt at ishutt@shuttlawfirm.com.

Shutt Law Firm’s office is conveniently located just north of Dallas, TX, near the intersection of highway 75 and Campbell Road in Richardson, TX.


You can also call Mr. Shutt at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this article or to discuss a different legal matter. For existing clients, quick phone-calls and brief e-mails are always free at Shutt Law Firm PLLC. Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you need letters testamentary, how to serve as executor in Texas, how to probate in Texas, Last Will and Testament, or you need a probate attorney in Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Garland, Addison, TX or surrounding North Texas area.


DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this brief article constitutes legal advice. The information provided herein is merely provided in the spirit of education. If you have a legal question, you should consult an attorney for your specific legal situation. Further, nothing in this article shall be construed to have started an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship exists until both you and attorney Isaac Shutt sign an engagement letter with the Shutt Law Firm, PLLC.