If you are the executor of a deceased person’s estate, you undoubtedly want to do a good job. With luck, the person whose estate you are administering left precise instructions to guide you through the process. Still, you should realize you have some fiduciary responsibilities you must fulfill.
According to Bankrate, having a fiduciary duty simply means you must act in the best interests of someone else. As an executor, your fiduciary duty is to the deceased person and his or her estate. Fulfilling your fiduciary obligations requires care and diligence.
Your fiduciary obligations
What does it mean to act in the best interests of the deceased person and his or her estate? When it comes to being an executor, you must perform each essential task honestly, fairly and impartially. This means you should not seek to benefit yourself or anyone else to the detriment of the deceased individual’s estate.
Your ability to seek help
Being an executor requires accomplishing a variety of tasks within strict time frames. To comply with your fiduciary obligations, though, you do not necessarily have to do everything by yourself. Indeed, it is not uncommon for executors to work with attorneys, accountants, appraisers, brokers and other professionals. Generally, the deceased person’s estate pays for the services of these individuals.
Your legal exposure
Because you have a fiduciary duty as an executor, you are vulnerable to accusations that you have breached your fiduciary obligations. Ultimately, if someone is successful with such an allegation, you might be personally liable for any damages the breach causes.