Can you face lawsuits for mismanaging an estate?

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2021 | Probate Administration |

When a close friend or family member names you the executor over his or her Texas estate, you have a duty to act in this individual’s interests and otherwise follow all guidelines and deadlines associated with the probate process. The role requires a considerable amount of responsibility. Sometimes, serving as someone’s executor may expose you to potential lawsuits relating to the mismanagement of the estate.

Failing to uphold your executor duties may make, too, make a decedent’s assets vulnerable, which may impact how much beneficiaries ultimately receive. As an executor, you run the risk of facing lawsuits related to the following, among other areas.

Gross negligence

If you make any significant errors that affect beneficiaries, you may face allegations of gross negligence. For example, if you fail to secure assets in the deceased party’s home and someone enters and takes them, the decedent’s beneficiaries may try to hold you accountable for the loss.

Administrative or timeline errors

Executors must abide by certain dates and timelines when it comes to notifying creditors and beneficiaries about the death. Failing to do so may expose you to legal trouble.

Fraud

Executors sometimes also face lawsuits for engaging in behaviors beneficiaries or others may consider fraudulent. For example, if someone thinks you tampered with the contents of the will for personal gain, that individual may file a suit against you.

When you take on the executor role, you may find that having legal assistance throughout the process helps ensure you cover your bases and avoid making errors that could land you in trouble.