Can Executors be held liable if something goes wrong?
It is quite easy to assume that if you are dealing with your loved one’s Estate to honour their wishes, you would not be held accountable if you made an error or mistake. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. So, what things can an Executor be held liable for when dealing with an Estate?
As the Executor you would be responsible for dealing with the full administration of the Estate, whether the Estate is worth £100 or £100,000. If you make a mistake when dealing with the Estate, or an oversight means that something that should have been paid has not been, you could be held personally liable for any losses, whether they are those of the beneficiaries, or the creditor of the Estate or whoever else has suffered a loss.
If there is more than one Executor, and you both make the decision to act in the Estate administration, or you are both named on Probate and only one of you actually does the work, you would most likely both be held jointly liable.
Therefore, it is clear that acting as an Executor is not an easy task, and it certaintly is not the case that you can just expect your co-executor to do everything with no risk to you.
That is why, in the majority of cases, our expert Probate solicitors would recommend seeking legal advice about what you need to do to finalise the Estate. At MG Legal, our team of Expert Wills, Trusts, Tax and Probate solicitors have over 15 years of experience in applying for Probate and dealing with the administration of estates. Therefore, they are aware of most pitfalls and common mistake areas to look out for. As an executor, you are normally entitled under the terms of the deceased’s Will to seek legal assistance to finalise the Estate and whilst you may be worrying about costs, surely it’s better to incur legal fees than to be personally liable for a £100,000 debt that was missed, or to owe a beneficiary £100,000 from your own pocket, if you mistakenly pay money out to the wrong person?
At MG Legal, we offer excellent legal fees, and we can provide you with an accurate estimate of costs at the start of your matter, so that you know what to expect. We will provide you with regular invoices throughout, so that you can keep track of what costs are being incurred, and in many cases, we can agree to limit the total amount of costs that we charge to an agreed amount, so you know that your costs will never go beyond the agreed amount.
Contact our team online today, or at your local office, to arrange an appointment to discuss your loved one’s Estate.