An executor of a deceased person’s estate in Indiana usually isn’t personally responsible for those debts. However, an Indiana estate representative may be taken to court pertaining to the probate process if there’s reason to believe a creditor didn’t get paid in a timely manner. An executor may also have to go to court if there’s reason to believe that a breach of fiduciary duty occurred.
Improperly resolved claims
When a person passes, an executor has to notify creditors that a probate proceeding is underway. This gives them with an opportunity to make claims against the estate in an effort to obtain any outstanding balances owed. Payments have to go out in a timely manner and in a certain order, assuming that the claims are valid and the estate is solvent enough to satisfy them. Otherwise, the executor may be in violation of state law.
Breach of fiduciary duty
An executor may only take actions that are in the best interest of the estate and its beneficiaries. Failing to do so, such as not making a tax payment on time or using estate funds to pay personal debts, doesn’t meet this standard. Therefore, beneficiaries may be able to take legal action in an effort to regain property or funds improperly taken from the estate. In the event that an estate has multiple beneficiaries, all parties must agree in order for legal action to happen.
Having a comprehensive estate plan in place may make it easier for your executor to act in a prompt and professional manner. If you have a trust, the assets included will typically bypass probate and any possible issues. It may also be possible to title assets so that they automatically pass to their intended beneficiaries upon your death.