Can a co-signing executor be liable for debts?

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Can a co-signing executor be liable for debts?

A family member has requested that I be a backup executor for her, second after her husband. I’m not sure that’s legal without the husband’s written permission. Could I become personally responsible for any outstanding debts that her account/assets can’t pay off?

Asked on May 24, 2017 under Estate Planning, South Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, the primary executor need not give their consent as to the appointment of a "contingent" (i.e. backup) executor; it is a decision that is solely up to the maker of the Will. As for personal iability for debts, etc., an executor bears no such iability unless they themselves commit some form of negligence or are guilty of wrong doing of some kind (e.g. take money for their own benefit, etc.).


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