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What are fiduciary duties?

If you have been named the executor or administrator of an estate, you may have a number of questions concerning your responsibilities and handling estate matters. It is crucial to recognize your responsibilities and key terms, such as your fiduciary duties. In Jamaica, New York, and all over the U.S., handling estate issues can be stressful. However, by familiarizing yourself with the process, you may be able to avoid complications or handle problems, such as a will dispute, appropriately.

According to the New York State Unified Court System, administrators and executors of estates have a number of responsibilities, known as fiduciary duties. For example, they are required to distribute a decedent's property in accordance with his or her will (or the law, if no will was in place). Moreover, administrators and executors are responsible for addressing any money the estate owes to creditors, taxes, bills and expenses related to the estate. Additionally, fiduciary duties include gathering and appraising the estate's assets.

Administrators and executors are required to act in good faith when handling an estate's affairs. If one puts their personal interests before their responsibilities to the estate, or fails to carry out the decedent's wishes as outlined in a will, they have breached their fiduciary duties. Under these circumstances, a will dispute may arise, which can be very challenging. If you are accused of breaching your fiduciary duties and are going through a will dispute, you should carefully examine the details of the case.

This post is not a substitute for legal advice.

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