Can I be held personally liable as executor?

Executors can indeed be held personally liable if they make a mistake during the probate process – something which they may not have realised when they agreed to act in this role. 
 
In more complex cases where an estate is not straightforward, the contents of a will have been misinterpreted or disputes have arisen, some executors have faced financial or legal prosecution from the tax man, beneficiaries of the estate or creditors.
 
One of the main tasks as executor is to have the assets valued as part of the final estate of the deceased. This can be a minefield if not carried out correctly, as HMRC is likely to pick up on an estate which has been undervalued – meaning the executor could be faced with additional tax and financial penalties, for which they will be held personally responsible, rather than the money coming out of the final estate.
 
It is vital therefore, that during the probate process, all actions are kept absolutely transparent through the maintenance of accurate record keeping. Notes should be made of all outstanding creditors and debts, valuer details and valuations given to ensure that the likelihood of a personal prosecution is kept to a minimum.

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