2009 Alabama Code
Section 43-2-833 General duties; relation and liability to persons interested in estate; standing to sue.

Section 43-2-833

General duties; relation and liability to persons interested in estate; standing to sue.

(a) A personal representative is a fiduciary. Except as otherwise provided by the terms of the will, the personal representative shall observe the standards in dealing with the estate that would be observed by a prudent person dealing with the property of another. If the personal representative has special skills or is named personal representative on the basis of representations of special skills or expertise, the personal representative is under a duty to use those skills. 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 Title 43, and as expeditiously and efficiently as is consistent with the best interests of the estate. The personal representative shall use the authority conferred upon personal representatives by law, 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.

(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, a probated will is authority to administer and distribute the estate according to its terms. An order of appointment of a personal representative 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 proceeding questioning the personal representative's 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 or dependent child, and any pretermitted child of the decedent.

(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 death has the same standing to sue and be sued in the courts of this state and the courts of any other jurisdiction as the decedent had immediately prior to death.

(Acts 1993, No. 93-722, p. 1411, §4.)

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