Frequently Asked Questions: Fiduciary

I do not want to accept a fiduciary appointment, what should I do?

The court cannot force you to accept a fiduciary appointment. If you are nominated to serve as personal representative of an estate or in another fiduciary capacity, you may decline so that another individual may be appointed. If no individual wishes to serve as fiduciary, the court may appoint a public administrator to serve.

Can I, as fiduciary, sell real estate?

Yes, a fiduciary may sell real estate.  However, depending upon the type of estate, you may be required to obtain a court order before you can proceed.

How can I, as fiduciary, sell real estate?

If you were appointed personal representative of an unsupervised estate that was started "informally", all you need are your letters of authority to proceed with a real estate sale. However, if you are a fiduciary of an estate started "formally" or a conservatorship (adult or minor), you must obtain a court order before selling the real estate.

Can I get an extension to file my paperwork?

Yes, depending on the circumstances, a first and second extension may be granted over the telephone. A third extension may be granted as well, but it must be in writing.

How do I get a fiduciary removed?

A fiduciary may be removed by a judge at a court hearing. Any interested person may petition the court to modify or terminate the fiduciary's appointment.

Who must attend the hearing to remove a fiduciary?

The petitioner must attend the hearing. All interested persons must be notified; however, they are not required to attend.

How do I update my expired Letters of Authority?

To update your Letters of Authority you must bring in your expired letters with the raised seal and file any required annual reports or accounts.

What if I do not have my Letters with the raised seal?

You may obtain a copy of your Letters at any time for a $12 fee as long as you are current on required filings.

What should I do if I, as fiduciary, move out of state?

If you move out of state, you may still serve as fiduciary, but you must notify the court of your new address and telephone number.

What is the difference between dismissed and discharged?

Fiduciaries may be dismissed when they have failed to complete all that is required by the court. After a dismissal, a fiduciary may be reinstated if he/she complies with the court. Proceedings may also be dismissed. For example, a petition may be dismissed if the petitioner fails to appear at the hearing or fails to serve interested persons. Fiduciaries will be discharged when they have complied with all of the court requirements. After a fiduciary is discharged, the file may be closed or another fiduciary may be appointed to act as successor fiduciary.

When do I have to notify the Veterans' Administration (VA)?

If a person is entitled to VA benefits, the VA must be included on the petition for guardianship or conservatorship and must be served as an interested person.