What Are a Beneficiary's Rights Regarding Estate Property?
Being named as a beneficiary of a trust or estate means your loved one thought about your well-being during the estate planning process and made plans to provide for you. As a beneficiary, you have certain rights regarding the handling of trust or estate property.
The person in charge of administering a trust or estate is sometimes referred to as the fiduciary. He or she owes what are known as fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries. Fiduciary duties refer to an administrator's responsibility to manage property for the benefit of the beneficiaries, rather than his or her own financial gain.
When assuming the role of administrator, a fiduciary should take control of all assets in the estate or trust. Other than bank accounts, the usual practice is to hire a professional appraiser to value personal property, such as household furniture, automobiles, jewelry, artwork, and collectibles.
The administrator then has a duty to make sure the assets are properly insured to protect the beneficiaries' interests. Appraisals and adequate insurance coverage should also be maintained on real estate.
Failing to properly maintain and protect tangible property is a common complaint among beneficiaries regarding trust or estate property. An administrator can be held liable by a beneficiary for failing to get appraisals and failing to keep property adequately insured.
If you are the beneficiary of an estate or trust and have questions regarding your rights, contact us to discuss your situation. Our experienced probate attorneys explain fiduciary duties and the trust administration and probate process in Texas. Contact an experienced Bryan, Texas estate planning attorney at the Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014.