What Legal Duties Does An Executor Or Administrator Have?
The executor or administrator of an estate acts in a fiduciary capacity and they are assigned that capacity through the Court. They apply to be the executor or an administrator of the estate and then they acknowledge that they are going to serve the estate as a fiduciary. Some of their legal duties include gathering of the assets, creating an inventory for the estate, depositing any funds that they come into contact with, investing those funds in a lawful manner, managing any type of real estate or rental real estate that may be in the estate and obtaining court approval for distributions to beneficiaries, paying off creditors and the like.
Am I Entitled To Anything From The Estate As The Executor?
If you are appointed to be the administrator of an estate or you are an executor of the estate, you would be entitled to receive a fee and that fee would be paid to you at the close of the estate. This fee varies by county in Ohio. Depending on what county the estate is probated out of, you may have a different fee structure. The typical fee structure for an executor is approximately one percent of the value of any transferred real estate- It must be real estate that is not sold. In addition, it is approximately 3% of the value of any probate property, so that is the property which must pass through the probate court. Finally, the remaining part of the fee structure would be any type of property that would be non-probate property, such as anything that has a beneficiary designation associated with it or most life insurance policies. An account or item with a beneficiary designation and a life insurance policy would not pass through probate, and would be considered non-probate property. Even though the property does not pass through probate the executor of the estate could still receive a fee from managing the non-probate property. The fee structure for non-probate property is typically around one percent of the value of the non-probate assets.
Which Creditors Must Be Paid From The Estate?
To the extent that funds are available in the estate, if a creditor makes a valid claim against the estate, the estate will be obligated to pay the creditor. Creditor claims can be challenged by the executor or the administrator if they are believed to be invalid or if they are improperly presented. In Ohio, there are very regimented rules that are in place on how a creditor can make a claim against an estate. They have to do it in a certain manner and they have to do it in a certain time period or they would be barred from making any claim against the estate.
Why Is Considering The Age, Needs And Lifestyle Of Your Heirs Important In Inheritance Planning?
Those are all important factors that you need to consider when you come in and do an estate plan. If you are to go through the probate process after your death, you want to make a good determination of where your assets are going to go, who they are going to go to and what the personality, the lifestyle and the age of the heirs that are receiving them may be. A lot of people think that estate planning is meant for people who are older when their children get out of the house or when they are closer to the age when they think death may occur. That is a common misconception about estate planning and is far from being accurate. We often ask people to come in and make very important considerations as to who may be the legal guardian of their minor children. If they have minor children, the legal guardian is going to have to be able to manage certain funds. As a minor, they cannot make that decision until they reach the age of majority, so they minor needs someone, like the legal guardian the natural parents designate, to step in and assist with the process and managing those funds.
So the question becomes do you want to distribute those funds over a certain period of time, during your life or after your death? Typically, we see people that distribute portions of their estate during their life or after death, they distribute funds to their children at different ages such as: 25 or 30 or 35, or after certain life events occur like marriage or the birth of children. When you are considering who is going to receive any monies, real estate or other items from your estate, it’s extremely important to make sure that you understand who the people are that are going to receive it and how they are going to handle it.
For more information on Legal Duties of An Executor Or Administrator, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (937) 716-2033 today.
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