Can you face lawsuits for mismanaging an estate?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2021 | Estate Planning |

When you serve as the executor over someone else’s Michigan estate, you accept responsibility for taking care of and settling it. The executor role requires a considerable amount of effort, and you may find yourself in trouble if you fail to follow all necessary steps.

According to the Detroit News, it may take you between about six and 12 months to settle a traditional estate. However, in some situations, it may take more or less time. Serving as an executor also exposes you to potential litigation if certain circumstances come to be. More specifically, you may face lawsuits if either of the following occurs.

You fail to secure the deceased party’s home

In the past, executors have faced lawsuits for failing to secure the deceased party’s home. Say one child believes he or she should get certain assets the deceased party intended for a different beneficiary and enters the home and takes them. You, the executor, could face liability for failing to secure the property.

You make judgment calls that upset beneficiaries

The executor role also requires you to exercise sound judgment. For example, you may have to make decisions about whether to update the deceased party’s home before selling it. If beneficiaries disagree with your decision to do so, they may file a lawsuit against you because of it.

These are just a few examples of the potential liabilities you expose yourself to when you assume the executor role over someone’s estate. The more you understand how to serve as an executor, the better your chances of avoiding associated litigation.