Executor and Estate Liability
Are you prepared for the risks?
The executors role is complex, challenging, and often time consuming. For most executors, this is a once or twice in a lifetime role, with a steep learning curve and little room for error, while making a myriad of decisions.
Executors can be held personally liable for the decisions they make in the course of estate administration. Although you will be acting in good faith, errors – or disagreements and the perception of errors – can result in the executor and the estate being sued by beneficiaries.
Why do executors get sued?
Challenges for executors typically occur when the executor has made an error or a beneficiary thinks the executor has made an error in any or all of the following areas in the administration of an estate:
- Favouritism: Preferential or prejudicial treatment of certain beneficiaries resulting in a loss of entitlement by another beneficiary.
- Loss of money or value: Timing issues related to the sale of real property or various types of financial instruments that result in diminished value of the asset.
- Conflict of interest: Allegation of conflict of interest on the part of the executor whether the executor is also a beneficiary or not.
- Error in value: Failure to valuate or improper valuation of assets.
Estate Risk Profile Overview:
The "Estate Risk Profile" simply provides a quick overview of the common variables that most often are responsible for triggering an estate claim. Circle the number corresponding to your answer to each question, and total your score at the bottom of the page. The pdf is available for download. If you are in Nova Scotia, you have the option of discussing and/or completing as part of a complimentary initial consultation.
An action brought against the estate is always difficult, if not impossible, to predict and Executor and Estate Liability Insurance is always advisable.
If the Estate Risk Profile Score is "moderate" or "significant", you should contact us and complete an application when you begin acting as the executor to get the protection you, the estate, and the beneficiaries need.
Note: Fees, Taxes and Shrinkage can be minimized.
More importantly, with proper planning, you can ensure what you want to happen, does happen.
"2 weeks of solid work on your estate can be worth more to your family than the financial gains of the past 10 years"
Is it worth the investment of your time?
What is the Risk? What is Potential Loss? Should you or your family assume the Risk? Mitigate? Insure?
Make a informed decision. Take a few minutes and use the Wealth Funnel Calculator and the Estate Risk Profile to help you decide.
Should you have questions you can contact me or arrange for a no obligation initial consultation session.
Paul is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) licensed by the Financial Planners Standards Council; Financial and Estate Plans are provided under that license.
The information contained in this website is intended to provide general guidelines only. The application and impact of the law can vary widely from case to case based on the specific or unique facts involved. Accordingly, the information in this article is not intended to serve as legal, accounting or tax advice. Users are encouraged to consult with their professional advisers for advice concerning specific matters before making a decision.
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