A fiduciary is a person or organization with an obligation to act in the best interest of another party or parties, without regard to their own best interest, in a way that preserves good faith and trust. Examples of a fiduciary in the context of estate settlement include an executor or administrator (charged with settling an estate), and a trustee (charged with administering a trust).
The general duties of a fiduciary as part of the estate-settlement process are:
Fiduciaries can be held liable for mishandling an estate. If an executor or administrator neglects to sell personal property that is required to be sold, and instead retains, consumes, or disposes of it for his or her own benefit, he or she Will be charged with the personal property at double the appraised value. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2113.34. Fiduciaries must be bonded and insured in most cases, which means they must have a solid credit rating. With some exceptions, he or she must also be an Ohio resident who is at least 18 years of age.
For this reason, it is common for someone placed in a fiduciary role to seek out the advice and guidance of an experienced Cleveland probate attorney.
There are a number of common scenarios in which fiduciary actions or inactions can harm heirs, including:
Fiduciary relationships may also exist outside of the probate process, particularly as it relates to trustees of certain trust accounts. Assets that are not distributed through probate include assets held in some trusts, some real estate held jointly, and assets that are Transferable on Death or Payable on Death. Fiduciary responsibilities involving such assets are best discussed with an experienced probate lawyer in Cleveland.
The Law Offices of Daniel McGowan, LLC is a full-service law practice, with extensive experience in the areas of litigation and trial practice, elder law, and probate law and trust law. Daniel McGowan is well known for his experience with the probate process and Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio and probate courts. He has a reputation for being accessible and for his thoughtful and innovative manner he solves probate problems and other civil disputes.
Daniel McGowan represents clients in probate and estate matters throughout the Cleveland area, including Lakewood, Rocky River, Fairview Park, Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, South Euclid, East Cleveland, Linndale, Brooklyn, Parma, Brook Park. Newburgh Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, Brooklyn Heights, Warrensville Heights, Maple Heights, Garfield Heights, Bratenahl and Euclid.
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