Question

What Are the Duties of a Colorado Personal Representative or Trustee?

Marco Chayet

Answered by:
Marco Chayet

Located in Denver, CO
Chayet & Danzo, LLC

Marco Chayet - Elder Law - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Marco Chayet

Chayet & Danzo, LLC
Denver, CO
Phone: 303-355-8500
Fax: 303-355-8501

View Profile
Answer

In Colorado, five appointments or roles carry fiduciary duties. They are: 

  1. Power of attorney
  2. Conservator
  3. Guardian
  4. Trustee
  5. Personal representative 

Each role carries statutory requirements (i.e., a duty of loyalty to protect a protected person’s assets for his or her benefit) and/or instrument-specific duty (for example, provisions in a trust document that instruct when to disburse funds). Court rules may also require you to file financial accountings or other reports at regular intervals. 

Understanding the Role: Who Tells Me What to Do? 

Many situations exist where you might be asked to take on one of these roles. Your parents may ask you to be an agent for a financial power of attorney or medical durable power of attorney. Or you may have a special needs loved one – a sibling, aunt or cousin – in need of a guardian/conservator to make housing and financial decisions after the loss of a parent who had served in the role. 

Because these jobs are serious, it is important to think beyond “am I a fiduciary or agent?”. If you have agreed to take on the responsibility of one of the above five roles, what should you do? 

As soon as possible, seek legal advice from an attorney who not only knows the law, but also understands the practical aspects from being regularly appointed a fiduciary. Initial deadlines can approach quickly. You also need to know the “what” related to the specific role – what decisions do you need to make, what documents should you collect and what information does the court need.   

If you make a mistake, you could face liability. Failing to act or breaching a fiduciary duty could result in lengthy litigation. A personal judgment is even possible if a court finds you inappropriately redirected any funds for your own benefit. 

Necessary Conversations in the Planning Stages 

During the estate planning process, it is crucial to have a talk about your wishes with the person(s) you intend to nominate to serve as a trustee, personal representative or agent. Make sure they are comfortable taking on the role. Nominating the wrong person, one who will not or cannot serve, may cause delays, conflict and added costs.  

An appointment as trustee, personal representative or agent should not come as a surprise. It is also a good practice to list one or two successors. 

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

Other Answers By Marco Chayet

Elder Law

What kind of estate planning do I need in Colorado?

Wills in addition to General Financial Powers of Attorney and Medical Durable Powers of Attorney (POA) are highly recommended estate planning …

Answered by: Marco Chayet

Elder Law

How does probate work for an estate in Colorado?

Probate is the legal process under which an estate is established to disperse the decedent's assets through his or her Will, or …

Answered by: Marco Chayet

Elder Law

How do I get a guardianship or a conservatorship in Colorado?

A guardianship case is started by the filing of a Petition for the Appointment of a Guardian for an Incapacitated Person by the petitioner in the …

Answered by: Marco Chayet

Other Answers About Probate & Estate Administration

Probate & Estate Administration

Can you bring a claim in Florida to challenge wrongdoing by a trustee or executor?

The simple answer to this question is yes.Personal representatives or executors have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the estate. …

Answered by: John Farina

Probate & Estate Administration

Are There Different Types of Probate in Arizona, and What Steps Are Required?

In Arizona, the process for administering someone’s estate depends on several factors. One of these is whether there was a valid Will. Another …

Answered by: Douglas J. Newborn

Probate & Estate Administration

How long does Probate take in California?

Probate of an estate in California can take as little as nine months; however, that would be considered fast. On average they take a year to a year …

Answered by: Kimberly D. Neilson

Disclaimer:

If you send a lawyer or law firm email through this service, your email will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. You should not send sensitive or confidential information via this email service. The lawyer or law firm to whom you are writing may not choose to accept you as a client. Moreover, as the Internet is not necessarily a secure environment it is possible that your email sent via the Internet might be intercepted and read by third parties. Super Lawyers will not retain a copy of this message.

Page Generated: 0.63116717338562 sec