Maine Revised Statutes

§3-703. General duties; relation and liability to persons interested in estate; standing to sue

(a).    A personal representative is under a duty to settle and distribute the estate of the decedent in accordance with the terms of any probated and effective will and this Code, and as expeditiously and efficiently as is consistent with the best interests of the estate. The personal representative shall use the authority conferred upon the personal representative by this Code, the terms of the will, if any, and any order in proceedings to which the personal representative is party for the best interests of successors to the estate. A personal representative is a fiduciary who shall observe the standards of care applicable to trustees as described in Title 18-B, sections 802, 803, 805, 806 and 807 and Title 18-B, chapter 9, except as follows.
(1). A personal representative, in developing an investment strategy, shall take into account the expected duration of the period reasonably required to effect distribution of the estate's assets. [1995, c. 525, §1 (NEW); 1995, c. 525, §4 (AFF).]
(2). Except as provided in section 3-906, subsection (a), paragraphs (1) and (2), a personal representative may make distribution of an estate's assets in cash or in kind, in accordance with the devisees' best interests, and is not required either to liquidate the estate's assets or to preserve them for distribution. [1997, c. 73, §1 (AMD); 1997, c. 73, §4 (AFF).]
(3). If all devisees whose devises are to be funded from the residue of an estate agree, in a written instrument signed by each of them and presented to the personal representative, on an investment manager to direct the investment of the estate's residuary assets, the personal representative may, but need not, rely on the investment advice of the investment manager so identified or delegate the investment management of the estate's residuary assets to such manager and, in either case, may pay reasonable compensation to the manager from the residue of the estate. A personal representative who relies on the advice of, or delegates management discretion to, an investment manager in accordance with the terms of this section is not liable for the investment performance of the assets invested in the discretion of, or in accordance with the advice of, such investment manager. [1997, c. 73, §4 (AFF); 1997, c. 73, §2 (RPR).]
[ 2005, c. 683, Pt. C, §6 (AMD) .]
(b).    A personal representative shall not be surcharged for acts of administration or distribution if the conduct in question was authorized at the time. Subject to other obligations of administration, an informally probated will is authority to administer and distribute the estate according to its terms. An order of appointment of a personal representative, whether issued in informal or formal proceedings, is authority to distribute apparently intestate assets to the heirs of the decedent if, at the time of distribution, the personal representative is not aware of a pending testacy proceeding, a proceeding to vacate an order entered in an earlier testacy proceeding, a formal proceeding questioning his appointment or fitness to continue, or a supervised administration proceeding. Nothing in this section affects the duty of the personal representative to administer and distribute the estate in accordance with the rights of claimants, the surviving spouse, any minor and dependent children and any pretermitted child of the decedent as described elsewhere in this Code.
[ 1979, c. 540, §1 (NEW) .]
(c).    Except as to proceedings which do not survive the death of the decedent, a personal representative of a decedent domiciled in this State at his death has the same standing to sue and be sued in the courts of this State and the courts of any other jurisdiction as his decedent had immediately prior to death.
[ 1979, c. 540, §1 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1979, c. 540, §1 (NEW). 1995, c. 525, §1 (AMD). 1995, c. 525, §4 (AFF). 1997, c. 73, §§1,2 (AMD). 1997, c. 73, §4 (AFF). 2005, c. 683, §C6 (AMD).