When someone names you the executor over his or her Washington estate, you owe that individual and his or her beneficiaries and creditors a particular duty of care. There are many steps involved in serving as someone’s executor, and if you fail to take some of them or otherwise make errors along the way, you expose yourself to potential litigation.
According to CNBC, you should only agree to serve as someone’s executor if you maintain a high degree of organization and have the time, attention and knowledge needed to dedicate to the task. Otherwise, you run the risk of someone filing a lawsuit against you for mismanaging the estate. For example, you run the risk of facing a lawsuit related to the following.
Mixing your money or assets with the estate’s
You must keep the estate you are overseeing and your assets completely separate. Intermingling them in any way may lead to legal proceedings.
Failing to follow the decedent’s instructions
When you accept the role of executor, you agree to act in the decedent’s interests. This means you agree to follow any clearly stated directions he or she leaves behind. Failing to do so may expose you to liability.
Exercising bad judgment
Sometimes, simply exercising poor or risky judgment is enough for a beneficiary to file a lawsuit against you.
You may be able to reduce the chances of someone filing a lawsuit against you in your executor role by working closely with an attorney and the individual who named you executor before his or her passing.