Executor Responsibilities | Executor Duties

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 Executor Fiduciary Duties

In a fiduciary relationship the; personal representative, executor or trustee owes certain duties and responsibilities to the creator (testator/ settlor) of the will or trust. While acting as executor, personal representative or trustee these administrators are subject to various laws, regulations, standards and guidelines including (but not limited to):

The provisions of the will, retirement plan or trust document;

  • The common law of trusts (or “accepted fiduciary standards”), which is a body of principles adopted by state courts over the years;
  • State and federal statutory law and regulation;
  • Rulings and orders from the local court of jurisdiction (probate court or other relevant court having jurisdiction over such matters); and
  • Rules and regulations promulgated by an institution’s state or federal regulatory agency, which has further codified or established fiduciary principles as they apply specifically to financial institutions.

The more significant executor fiduciary duties are to:

  • Take possession and maintain control of fiduciary assets;
  • Keep fiduciary assets separate and distinct from all other assets;
  • Maintain clear and accurate accounts and records;
  • Provide information to beneficiaries in a timely manner;
  • Exercise the same care and skill in administering the trust, as a person of ordinary prudence would exercise in dealing with his or her own property. This is generally referred to as the “prudent man” or “prudent investor” rule (states have adopted versions of one rule or the other)
  • Administer the trust solely in the interest of the beneficiary, which is referred to as the duty of loyalty.
  • This duty prevents the fiduciary from putting itself in a position where their personal interests conflict with those of the trust that it is representing.

(Continue ... Go to next page) Fiduciary Liabilities

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