Can you face lawsuits for mismanaging an estate?

When someone in North Carolina appoints you the executor over his or her estate, you may find that there are many moving parts involved in the role. You have certain responsibilities when you serve as someone’s executor, and you also have to take certain steps to close the estate and notify beneficiaries and creditors about the will-maker’s death within a certain amount of time.

According to CNBC, failing to properly handle all aspects of the decedent’s estate exposes you to potential liability. More specifically, making any of the following missteps may result in a beneficiary or someone else associated with the estate filing a lawsuit against you.

Failing to follow the instructions of the decedent

As an executor, you have a legal and ethical obligation to follow the instructions of the decedent. Failing to do so, or acting in a way that serves your own interests, rather than those of the deceased, exposes you to potential liability.

Failing to notify the proper parties

You also have to follow certain creditor notification requirements when you act as an executor in North Carolina. To give creditors a chance to file a claim, you have to publish a notice in a newspaper in the same county where the estate administration is taking place.

Mixing your money or assets with those of the decedent

You also have to take care to keep the decedent’s assets separate from your own when you act as an executor. Mixing them together in any manner may result in legal hardships.

Because it takes considerable time and effort to serve as someone’s executor, you may be able to receive up to 5% of estate receipts and expenditures in exchange for your efforts.