Common challenges for will executors

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2021 | Probate Litigation |

If a loved one in Minnesota names you as the executor of their estate, you’ll have to manage and divide up their assets after they die. Ideally, this should be a straightforward process since you can follow the instructions in the will. Unfortunately, family members might get involved and turn probate into a lengthy court battle.

How could you get involved in legal issues?

According to the law, you have to divide up the assets according to your loved one’s specifications. This might sound reasonable to you, but if their heirs aren’t satisfied with their inheritance, they might launch probate litigation in an attempt to challenge the will. They might even take assets out of the deceased person’s house before you get the chance to distribute them.

The process becomes even more complicated if the decedent chose multiple co-executors. You may know what you’re doing, but your co-executors might argue about how you should handle the estate. It’s possible that you’ll have to get everyone to drop out of the process, including yourself, and hire a third party to act as the executor. A will and trust attorney may act as the executor or help you through the process.

Handling taxes and debts

Many people die with unpaid taxes and loans in their name. As the executor of the estate, it’s your responsibility to pay off taxes and certain debts with parts of the estate. If you give the heirs their inheritance first, you might not have enough left to pay taxes. This could mean that you’ll have to pay taxes out of your own pocket.

Do you have to act as the executor of an estate?

Even if your loved one specifically named you in their will, you don’t have to accept the responsibility. If you do, you might want to hire an attorney to help you deal with possible legal challenges.