Traps and liability issues for Executors of Estates
You are appointed as Executor of an Estate. You appreciate the confidence expressed in you, and you are more than happy to help your relative or friend.
It can’t be that hard, can it?
What is often not appreciated is the responsibility that comes with being the Executor of an estate and that an Executor can be personally liable if the legal requirements are not performed properly.
The basic requirements are:
Executor’s role. An Executor is required to uphold the deceased’s Will and put into effect the deceased’s wishes as expressed in the will. This usually requires the Executor to obtain a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court. The Grant proves to the rest of the world the Executors power to deal with the deceased’s assets
An Executor has a strict duty to properly and effectively administer the deceased’s Estate. An Executor can be personally liable for a breach of that duty. Executors must act impartially and prudently.