My wife has been named the executor of her fathers will in AZ and is concerned that once she becomes appointed by the court, she will have personal liability for her fathers debt. He has no surviving spouse, and was sole owner of his property. No beneficiaries are named on his accounts.
The liabilities of the deceased remain liabilities of the estate and are paid only from estate property, so long as the executor acts in a proper fiduciary capacity (doesn't commit fraud or act improperly). She will have no personal liability so long as she does her job and therefore should retain an attorney to advise her on the proper steps in the process. If executors incurred personal liability for the debts of the deceased, no one would be an executor!? Would they? But I do understand your concern.
This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/
Attorney Zelinger is correct. Provided that the Executor faithfully executes her duties, she will bear no personal liability for her father's debts.
This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
I agree with my colleagues. The debts of the decedent are those of the estate and the executor assumes no personal liability by acting as fiduciary. There is *potential* personal liability if the executor breaches her fiduciary duties, and for this reason, it is a very good idea to have an attorney assist with the probate administration.
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