When a person dies in Texas, his or her will provides for appointment of an executor to handle the estate's administration. If there was no will, the statutory law of Texas designates persons who may qualify as an administrator of the estate. An executor or administrator will have to take certain steps and perform certain duties to properly administer the estate. Both executors and administrators may be generically referred to as the personal representative of the estate.
In a general sense, the biggest tasks for the personal representative are to collect the assets, pay the bills, and distribute the remaining funds to the beneficiaries. In some cases, the estate will be supervised by a probate judge, but that is not necessary if no special issues are involved. It is generally appropriate to administer the estate, perform all tasks and distribute the assets without formal court supervision.