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. 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:

– 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.

– 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.

– 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.

– The executor/administrator must not leave funds uninvested.

– 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.