Helping Executors And Administrators Manage Their Fiduciary Duties
Whether a probate case is an independent administration or a dependent administration, the executor or administrator of the estate is a fiduciary who must uphold their fiduciary duties. Although the duties will differ somewhat based on whether the administration is independent or dependent, the basic principle applies that a fiduciary owes duties to manage the estate assets appropriately and provide accountings when requested.
As discussed elsewhere on the site, executors and administrators have a duty to collect the estate’s assets, pay off the debts, and distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries of the estate. Although this sounds simple, there are many complexities in these duties. For instance, the executor may have to evaluate whether pursuing a certain debt owed to the estate would provide more value than it would cost. Likewise, the executor may have to incur fees for professional services only, pay expenses to maintain assets of the estate, etc. Each of these decisions may be questioned by the estate’s heirs.
The Estate and Trust Administration attorneys at Ford + Bergner LLP counsel numerous clients a year on these duties. Our attorneys seek to make these decisions easier for our client and resolve the concerns that the client may have in managing an estate. In doing so, we assist the client in coordinating with other professionals that may need to be involved in the case: accountants, realtors, financial advisors, appraisers, and the like.
Effectively administering an estate does not happen without effort. It also does not happen without good counsel from qualified attorneys who routinely handle these issues. The attorneys at Ford + Bergner LLP are prepared to handle your case.