What are the risks of being an executor?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2021 | Probate Litigation |

Being the executor of a Minnesota will comes with a lot of responsibility and laws to follow as a fiduciary. Several problems besides disputes with heirs and beneficiaries can occur.

Probate litigation

If someone contests the will, you have probate litigation on your hands. However, there are legal guidelines for contesting wills. A person can’t contest for being unhappy with the terms. They must have evidence that the will in invalid under the law. Other situations that may result in probate litigation are property that was wrongfully taken and wrongful interference with an inheritance claim.

Losing time

Being an executor is a time-consuming process, especially when you don’t have a lawyer helping you. You can actually hire an estate attorney to handle most of the tasks to save yourself time. If the estate is small, you may want to carry out most of the duties on your own to have more assets left over for the heirs and beneficiaries.

Personal liability

If you make mistakes, the law holds you personally liable. You should check the state law surrounding your duties as an executor and how to correctly divide the estate. Executors need to handle the decedent’s taxes and debts before handing out inheritances. You don’t want to be personally liable for paying the decedent’s taxes and debts if there isn’t enough money left over.

Inform the heirs and beneficiaries of the law so that they don’t bother you for their portion of the estate. Dividing an estate is overwhelming to many people. You can work with a lawyer to have more certainty that you are following the correct legal process.

Risks come with being an executor, but you can minimize them by understanding your duties and the law. Take your role as executor seriously because you are personally liable for mistakes that occur. Follow the law in dividing the assets in the correct order, and maintain open lines of communication with the heirs and beneficiaries to help prevent conflicts.