Im one of 4 heirs to an estate that has no will. we need to designate an administrator. how do we ensure that the designee acts fairly?
A fiduciary bond is essentially an insurance policy that is obtained by the fiduciary, to cover the beneficiaries in the event of a fiduciary breach. (Picture the executor absconding with estate funds to Antigua).
The best way to ensure fairness is to insist on the executor being represented by counsel. The attorney is not going to risk his or her license by allowing anything underhanded to take place.
Otherwise, having clear, open communication about what is being done and why, often helps a great deal. Beneficiaries are not really entitled to "input," but everyone likes to feel like their opinion is valued and matters. If you have an understanding about how things are going to be handled, that often helps, as well.
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Do not have only one sibling serve. Have two serve and then any checks issued must be signed by both parties and decisions are made unanimously. This is a little harder to do than having just one administrator, but the benefit is that you increase the chances that no one will do anything illegal or unethical or rob the estate.
The rule is that a US citizen is taxed on his wordwide income for income tax purposes. So he should have been filing income tax returns every year. Now if he paid taxes to his foreign country then it is possible that he could claim a tax credit for such taxes paid against any US taxes he may have owed.
In addition, from an estate perspective he is subject to estate taxes on his worldwide assets.
Anyway you have multiple problems here and you must immediately retain an estates attorney, and an international tax attorney and counsel in Germany. This is mess that you need to get on top of immediately.
Hope this helps.
Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.
Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336, his email address is [email protected] , for more tax, estate and business articles visit his website www.sjfpc.com. and
LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is [email protected] , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.
A bond is a financial promise (usually secured by an insurance or bonding
company for a fee) to fulfill properly the fiduciary obligations, i.e., to
make sure the estate money/assets go where they are supposed to go after
debts and taxes are paid. If there is something you are not satisfied about,
you would notify the court.
Joseph A. Bollhofer, Esq.
Joseph A. Bollhofer, P.C.
291 Lake Ave.
St. James, NY 11780
Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
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