A personal representative is either an executor named in the decedent's will, or an administrator appointed by the court to administer the estate of a person who died without a will (intestate). In many cases, the personal representative can be the spouse, adult child, sibling, parent or any person named in the will by the decedent. To be eligible for appointment as a personal representative, a person must have the capacity to contract.
A personal representative acts as a fiduciary of the decedent's estate. A fiduciary is "a person having a legal obligation to act primarily for the benefit of another under circumstances that require total trust, good faith and honesty." A fiduciary is held to a standard of conduct and trust above that of a stranger or a casual business person. Accordingly, the personal representative can be liable for any losses resulting from actions taken in bad faith, mismanagement, self-dealing, or breach of fiduciary duty.
To find out more about personal representation, contact the Law Offices of David A. Shapiro, P.C. at 310-773-0377.
Stay tuned for more on this topic on our subsequent blog.
*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be construed as professional legal advice.