While designing an estate plan, many people set up trusts to manage their financial affairs. A trust may specify a “personal representative.”  In this post, we outline the responsibilities of the “personal representative.”

Ohio Estate Disputes

If you have been appointed as a dependent administrator or an independent executor, you will have certain fiduciary duties. For example, there is a duty of competency, a duty of disclosure, a duty of loyalty, and a duty of impartiality. These duties are intended to defend the interests of the heirs of the Decedent’s estate, the estate creditors, and the taxing authorities. The non-exhaustive list includes:

  1. The executor/administrator should keep the heirs of the estate informed of the administration and use best efforts to promptly collect the assets and administer and settle the estate.
  2. The executor/administrator must always be in a position to account for all revenue received, money spent, assets sold/purchased, and as to all other matters that directly or indirectly affect the estate.
  3. The executor/administrator must refrain from commingling the Decedent’s property with his/her own or that of any of your businesses or the Decedent’s business interests. Commingling usually is done with cash, and it is imperative that the executor/administrator does not commingle the Decedent’s funds with funds that are not part of the estate, not even for a day.
  4. The executor/administrator must not leave funds uninvested.
  5. The personal representative must refrain from self-dealing with any portion of Decedent’s estate.

Compliance can be accomplished by setting up suitable estate accounts and managing the estate accounting in the manner detailed by your estate attorney. Get more insights from our Estate & Probate Blog.