Ohio Probate Administration: Fiduciary Duties Explained

Posted in Probate, Probate Litigation. Tuesday, Feb 28th, 2017

The death of a loved one is an incredibly traumatic experience. Beyond dealing with the emotional distress, there are also often complex legal issues that must be addressed. Unfortunately, in some cases, serious estate mismanagement by an executor or administrator results in heirs losing out on part or all of their inheritance. If you have been the victim of mismanagement by a trustee or executor, you need to contact an experienced Columbus probate litigation attorney today to discuss your legal options.

The Legal Duties of an Executor

A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care that exists under the law. While it can apply in a multitude of different specific circumstances, it is generally reserved for situations in which individuals must rely on the expertise of another party. Fiduciaries always possess power and they are always put in a position of considerable trust. In Ohio, estate administrators and executors, trust managers and guardianship managers are all fiduciaries. Some of the specific responsibilities that these parties have include:

  • Preserving the value of the assets that are under their control;
  • Always acting in the best interests of the heirs and affected creditors;
  • Keeping detailed records regarding any accounts;
  • Fully disclosing all material activity to the interested parties;
  • Ensuring that taxes are properly filed; and
  • Distributing assets without undue delay.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty: How to Protect Yourself

As soon as you suspect that you have been the victim of an executor’s breach of fiduciary duty, you must take steps to protect your legal rights and financial interests. Whether you suspect outright fraud or mismanagement, you should call an attorney immediately. Our firm has handled many different breach of fiduciary duty claims and we will work aggressively to help you recover the full value of your inheritance. The type of fiduciary duty claims we have handled include those involving:

  • The intentional concealment of assets;
  • Selling of assets without the required court approval;
  • Misappropriation of trust-held assets;
  • Outright fraud;
  • The use of assets for personal benefit;
  • Failure to properly pay creditors, taxes or other fees;
  • Failure to execute the will or trust in a timely manner; and
  • An administrator not following the instructions of the will or the trust.

Contact Our Columbus Office Today

If you have been the victim of the mishandling of an estate by an executor, our team is ready to help. At the Law Office of Mike Gertner, we have helped many people recover the full and fair inheritance that they rightfully deserve. If you have been financially damaged by the bad actions of an estate administrator, please call our Columbus office today at 614-463-9393 or 877-772-1011 to schedule your free initial legal consultation.