As someone serving as a loved one’s executor, you have numerous duties to fulfill. This includes following the deadlines and guidelines of the probate process, and acting in the interest of the decedent.
By failing to uphold these duties, you could end up putting the assets of the beneficiaries at risk. Thus, this could open you up to potential lawsuits.
Facing negligence accusations
Forbes discusses some of the potential risks that estate executors may face in the process of doing their job. First, you might face gross negligence charges. These will happen in the event that significant errors you make impact beneficiaries directly. For example, if you do not secure the decedent’s home and someone breaks in and steals things, the beneficiaries might hold you accountable for the missing goods.
Timeline or administration errors
Next, there are errors of administration or timeline. Executors like you need to adhere to specific timelines and dates in order to notify creditors about the death of a decedent. If you fail to do this, the creditors could hold you liable.
Finally, you have fraud accusations. For example, if a beneficiary thinks that you may have tampered with or illegally influenced the writing of a will, they might make fraud charges against you.
Having to deal with all of these responsibilities on top of the potential legal liability is a lot for anyone to handle. This is why many estate executors will also work with personal legal representation to ensure that they get everything done in a timely and legal manner.