Sponsored by Edward R. Stolle
Kaufman & Canoles, PC - Attorneys
|Information about probate and decedents' estates in Virginia.||Home | Services | Contact | Search | Disclosure|
The word "fiduciary" refers to a person or, if permitted by law, a company, that has a position of duty or trust over something for the benefit of one or more other people.
"Fiduciary" is a general term in that it refers to executors or administrators (personal representatives) of a decedent's estate, but also refers to other types of fiduciaries, for example, guardians for minors or incapacitated persons, and trustees under trusts.
For an executor or administrator to have authority under the law to act as a fiduciary of a decedent's estate, they must qualify with a court of proper jurisdiction. Normally, a personal representative will qualify at the same time the will is probated, if the decedent left a will.
To qualify, the personal representative must go to the probate department of the Clerk of the Circuit Court, provide required information about themselves and the decedent, meet the requirements of qualification under the law, and pay required fees to the Clerk.
Once qualified the personal representative has both the authority and the duty to properly administer the estate of the decedent. The Clerk will provide the personal representative with a certificate of qualification as evidence to third parties (banks, brokers, and others) of their authority as the qualified personal representative of the estate.
Once qualified, the personal representative has certain powers as provided under the law and the will, if there is a will, to take possession and control of the assets of the estate for the purpose of administering the estate.
With this authority goes the responsibility and duty to properly administer the estate under the law and in accordance with any will, and personal liability for losses or damages for failing to do so.
Acting as a fiduciary for a decedent's estate is a serious undertaking. The personal representative must be well informed as to the duties they must perform, the deadlines involved, the powers they may exercise and the amount of time they will likely spend to properly administer the estate.
|© Edward R. Stolle and Kaufman & Canoles, P.C. 2003 -2011|