When you agree to serve as the executor over someone’s Mississippi estate, you are also agreeing to uphold a number of important obligations and responsibilities. Serving as someone’s executor takes time, and the position often involves tracking important dates, tying up necessary loose ends and notifying the proper parties of the decedent’s death. If you make certain errors or miss certain steps along the way, you may become liable for these lapses.
Per CNBC, the executor role is an important and involved one because failing to take the proper steps may result in you making the decedent’s assets vulnerable. This is unlikely to sit well with the will-maker’s beneficiaries, and if they suffer a loss because of your actions – or lack thereof – they may attempt to hold you responsible.
Where you may face liability as an executor
It is typically the role of the executor to notify anyone who has an interest in the decedent’s estate about the individual’s passing. In Mississippi, this involves publishing a notice in the local newsletter. Failing to notify the proper parties within the proper timelines exposes you to possible legal trouble. The same holds true for failing to take proper steps to secure the decedent’s estate, among other possible executor missteps that may expose you to liability.
How to reduce your liability risk as an executor
The more you and the party who named you executor discuss his or her wishes while you still have the chance, the better. This helps reduce the chances of miscommunications causing trouble later. Maintaining open communications with beneficiaries should also help guard against potential lawsuits.
Because acting as an executor involves a high level of organization, you may want to think twice before accepting the position if you doubt your abilities in this area.