Inappropriate actions by Powers of Attorney, Guardians & Personal Representatives (Executors & Administrators)
A fiduciary is appointed by the Probate Court to handle someone else’s affairs and money. Fiduciaries include:
- Executor / Executrix – Male / female versions of a person named in a will to probate and settle an estate.
- Administrator / Administratrix – Male / female versions of a person appointed by the probate court to settle the estate of a person that passed away without a will.
- Curator – An individual selected by the Court for someone who cannot manage his or her own finances.
- Guardian – Generally, a person appointed to handle assets and funds beloging to a minor or disabled person.
All of these individuals are accountable to the probate court to carry out their duties in good faith. Kentucky and Indiana law generally requires that periodic reports be filed showing the funds that have come into the hands of the fiduciary and how monies have been spent.
The court and other interested parties, such as beneficiaries or heirs, can review the reports of the fiduciariy to determine whether he or she is doing the job properly. Fiduciaries may be entitled to reasonable compensation for their services, but they must sign a bond prior to beginning their duties in the position of trust. The bond is a promise in writing that the person will act in accordance with the law.
Anyone interested in being appointed in a fiduciary position should consider the associated responsibilities and obligations. The potential fidicuary must also predetermine whether a surety will be required by the court to complete the appointment process. A surety is essentially a co-signer on the bond, and is usually a company (such as an insurance company) or another person who can be compelled to rectify any wrongdoing of the fiduciary.
A court can hold a fiduciary personally responsible and remove noncompliant individuals if there has been a breach of the duties associated with the position. Callto discuss with one of our Louisville, Kentucky and southern Indiana probate & estate attorneys if you believe family members or loved ones have been or are being harmed by the inappropriate actions of a fiduciary.