Duty of care

Uncategorized Jan 17, 2019

When acting as the Personal Representative of an estate, your conduct must meet a certain standard. In legal terms, you have a duty of care in how you handle things and you owe this duty to all persons interested in the estate. If you do not meet the standard, you will be held personally liable for the losses that occur.

We suggest treating the property as if it were your own. You must act honestly, prudently and to the best of your ability. If you do, it is unlikely that you will be held responsible for things that go wrong. 

Here are a list of things you should pay particular attention to when handling an estate.

  • Do not deal with estate property in a way personally benefits you, or in any way that appears to personally benefit you.
  • Keep a detailed record of your thought process when making decisions. You may even want to keep a journal of your activities as Executor.
  • Invest estate property as needed in safe instruments, but note that this does not mean that you should invest only in fixed income products.
  • Do not choose a side in any discord that occurs among the beneficiaries. Instead, help them look at the situation objectively to resolve their issues.
  • Above all, listen to the concerns of the beneficiaries.

If you have any further questions about how to handle an estate, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 780-458-8228.

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