Practice Areas

Probate And Estate Administration

Edited by Rory Clark

Professional Guidance Through the Confusing World of Probate or Trust Administration

Whether you have been designated to handle the affairs of an individual who has died, or you are managing the assets of a trust for the benefit of certain individuals or charities, the laws of every state require you to fulfill your duties as a “fiduciary.” A fiduciary is bound to faithfully administer the trust placed in him or her and failure to do so can result in personal liability to estate or trust beneficiaries or even the court. Unless the controlling document (usually a Will or a Trust) waives the requirement, every fiduciary must strictly comply with the following duties in handling their responsibilities:

  • Duty of Undivided Loyalty
  • Duty to Manage Assets in Accordance With the Prudent Investor Rule
  • Duty to Properly Allocate Income and Principal
  • Duty Marshall Assets
  • Duty to Prioritize Debts and Expenses
  • Duty to Inventory and Account
  • Duty to Inform
  • Duty to Prepare Tax Returns and Pay Taxes
  • Duty to Defend and Prosecute Claims
  • Duty to Determine Proper Compensation
  • Duty to Distribute

At best, the experience can be tedious and extremely time consuming.  At worst, it can be downright confounding.  When the individual must also deal with strong emotions and the ordinary pressures of everyday life, it can be difficult to muster the personal resources, time, and energy to do the job correctly.  Those who are dependent upon the fiduciary may be dealing with their own strong emotions and may hold their own notions about how fast and how thoroughly the estate or trust will be handled.  Turning the estate or trust over to the Legacy Elder Law Center for administration ensures that it will be handled with scrupulous professionalism.  You can focus on the personal issues that are important and leave the details, tedium, and navigation of the process in capable hands. 

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