Can you face lawsuits for mismanaging an estate?

On Behalf of | Jan 24, 2022 | Estate Planning

When someone names you the personal representative over his or her Florida estate, you must recognize that the role brings with it many responsibilities. There are rules and guidelines dictating how you must manage and close the estate, notify creditors and beneficiaries, and so on. Failing to follow all these rules and guidelines, or otherwise mismanaging the estate, may expose you to potential lawsuits.

According to CNBC, you may want to think twice before agreeing to serve as someone’s personal representative if you do not consider yourself responsible, organized and financially savvy. Otherwise, you run the risk of facing lawsuits from the following areas, among others.

Tax issues

You have an obligation to take care of the deceased party’s finances. This includes paying taxes on time. If you fail to do so and rack up fees or interest that cuts into the estate’s value, beneficiaries may decide to pursue a claim against you as a result.

Unethical actions

You may also face lawsuits if you engage in unethical actions that threaten the estate or how much beneficiaries receive from it. Altering the wording of a will is one such example. Staying in the deceased party’s home without paying is another.


You also run the risk of facing allegations of fraud in an executor role. Some personal representatives face such allegations after trying to hide estate assets, failing to notify beneficiaries or underpaying beneficiaries, among other possible examples.

By exercising sound judgment and doing your due diligence, you should be able to perform well in your personal representative role.  You may also be able to reduce or eliminate the chances of lawsuits arising along the way.