The executor of a will fulfills many important functions when a person passes away. If the person who died, called the decedent, had a Will, he or she would have named someone to serve as executor. If the person named as executor of an estate is willing and able to fulfill this role, he or she must be appointed by the probate court judge. Once appointed, the executor is responsible for all the technical and legal issues required to probate the will and transfer ownership of the decedent’s assets to the new owners.
Unfortunately, there are situations in which an executor is unable to do the job properly and makes mistakes. An executor should work with an experienced attorney to avoid such errors during the probate process. Parman & Easterday is here to help. If an executor doesn’t receive proper legal advice and something should go wrong, the executor needs to understand the consequences of such a mistake.
What If An Executor Of A Will Makes A Mistake?
An executor of a will has a fiduciary duty, the highest duty a person can owe to others. The executor is to act competently and avoid conflicts of interest or acting in his or her own best interest. If the executor makes a serious and negligent mistake, or if the executor intentionally does something wrong, a claim could be made against the executor for breach of fiduciary duty. This could result in the executor being held responsible for compensating those harmed by the mistake.
A breach of fiduciary duty is a major accusation. It is not common for executors to be accused of a breach and made to pay damages, but it does happen. If an executor makes a minor mistake, he or she may correct the problem going forward or may be removed from this role.
If the court removes the executor of a will, it may appoint an estate administrator to fulfill the role of the executor during the remainder of the probate. The estate administrator will do what the executor should have done.
There is a tremendous potential for an executor to make errors because the job is a complicated one. Executors not only have to file court pleadings, but also must comply with state and federal tax laws and facilitate the transfer of assets by changing titles and deeds. The consequences of a mistake can be profound, especially if the estate is a larger one and there is a lot of value at stake. Those who serve as an executor must understand they have many obligations during the probate process and be prepared to fulfill those obligations by getting accurate and comprehensive legal advice.
Why An Executor Of A Will Should Seek Legal Help
The executor of an estate should get help so he or she can honor the wishes of the deceased and fulfill all responsibilities to the deceased and his or her heirs or beneficiaries. If you are serving as an executor, you certainly do not want to accidentally do something that causes harm.
You also do not want to risk legal action for breach of fiduciary duty, nor do you want to be removed as executor of a will. Parman & Easterday can assist you with understanding the law and complying with your duties as executor so you can complete the probate process quickly and effectively.
Getting Help From An Oklahoma City Probate Lawyer
Parman & Easterday can help you avoid mistakes as an executor of a will and fulfill your responsibilities during the probate process. Our legal team also provides representation to heirs or beneficiaries during probate. We help those who stand to inherit to monitor the actions of the executor and make certain nothing goes wrong.
To learn more about probate and the role of the executor, join us for a free seminar. You can also call us today at (405) 843-6100 or contact us online to talk with an experienced member of our legal team for personalized assistance and advice about the probate process.