2018 Indiana Code
TITLE 29. Probate
CHAPTER 7.5. Unsupervised Administration and Claims Against Personal Representatives and Distributees
29-1-7.5-3. Powers of personal representative to act without order of court

Universal Citation: IN Code § 29-1-7.5-3 (2018)
IC 29-1-7.5-3 Powers of personal representative to act without order of court

     Sec. 3. (a) Subject to section 2(d) of this chapter, a personal representative who administers an estate under this chapter may do the following without order of the court:

(1) Retain assets owned by the decedent pending distribution or liquidation including those in which the representative is personally interested or which are otherwise improper for trust investment.

(2) Receive assets from fiduciaries or other sources.

(3) Perform, compromise, or refuse performance of the decedent's contracts that continue as obligations of the estate, as the personal representative may determine under the circumstances. In performing enforceable contracts by the decedent to convey or lease land, the personal representative, among other possible courses of action, may:

(A) execute and deliver a deed of conveyance for cash payment of all sums remaining due or the purchaser's note for the sum remaining due secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on the land; or

(B) deliver a deed in escrow with directions that the proceeds, when paid in accordance with the escrow agreement, be paid to the successors of the decedent, as designated in the escrow agreement.

(4) Satisfy written charitable pledges of the decedent irrespective of whether the pledges constituted binding obligations of the decedent or were properly presented as claims, if in the judgment of the personal representative the decedent would have wanted the pledges completed under the circumstances.

(5) If funds are not needed to meet debts and expenses currently payable and are not immediately distributable, deposit or invest liquid assets of the estate, including moneys received from the sale of other assets, in federally insured interest-bearing accounts, readily marketable secured loan arrangements, or other prudent investments which would be reasonable for use by trustees generally.

(6) Acquire or dispose of an asset, including land in this or another state, for cash or on credit, at public or private sale; and manage, develop, improve, exchange, partition, change the character of, or abandon an estate asset.

(7) Make ordinary or extraordinary repairs or alterations in buildings or other structures, demolish any improvements, raze existing or erect new party walls or buildings.

(8) Subdivide, develop, or dedicate land to public use; make or obtain the vacation of plats and adjust boundaries; or adjust differences in valuation on exchange or partition by giving or receiving considerations; or dedicate easements to public use without consideration.

(9) Enter for any purpose into a lease as lessor or lessee, with or without option to purchase or renew, for a term within or extending beyond the period of administration.

(10) Enter into a lease or arrangement for exploration and removal of minerals or other natural resources or enter into a pooling or unitization agreement.

(11) Abandon property when, in the opinion of the personal representatives, it is valueless, or is so encumbered, or is in condition that it is of no benefit to the estate.

(12) Vote stocks or other securities in person or by general or limited proxy.

(13) Pay calls, assessments, and other sums chargeable or accruing against or on account of securities, unless barred by the provisions relating to claims.

(14) Hold a security in the name of a nominee or in other form without disclosure of the interest of the estate but the personal representative is liable for any act of the nominee in connection with the security so held.

(15) Hold, manage, safeguard, and control the estate's real and personal property, insure the assets of the estate against damage, loss, and liability, and insure the personal representative personally against liability as to third persons.

(16) Borrow money with or without security to be repaid from the estate assets or otherwise and advance money for the protection of the estate.

(17) Effect a fair and reasonable compromise with any debtor or obligor, or extend, renew, or in any manner modify the terms of any obligation owing to the estate. If the personal representative holds a mortgage, pledge, or other lien upon property of another person, the personal representative may, in lieu of foreclosure, accept a conveyance or transfer of encumbered assets from the owner thereof in satisfaction of the indebtedness secured by lien.

(18) Pay taxes, assessments, compensation of the personal representative, and other expenses incident to the administration of the estate.

(19) Hold an interest in a proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, business trust, corporation, or another domestic or foreign form of business or enterprise.

(20) Continue a business.

(21) Take any action that may be taken by shareholders, partners, members, or property owners, including contributing additional capital to or merging, consolidating, reorganizing, recapitalizing, dissolving, or otherwise changing the form of the business organization.

(22) Allocate items of income or expense to either estate income or principal, as permitted or provided by IC 30-2-14.

(23) Employ persons, including attorneys, auditors, investment advisors, or agents, even if they are associated with the personal representative, to advise or assist the personal representative in the performance of the personal representative's administrative duties; act without independent investigation upon their recommendations; and instead of acting personally, employ one (1) or more agents to perform any act of administration, whether or not discretionary.

(24) Do any of the following concerning a claim or demand made in favor of or against the estate for the protection of the estate and of the personal representative in the performance of the personal representative's duties:

(A) Release, assign, settle, compromise, or contest the claim or demand.

(B) Participate in mediation or submit to arbitration to resolve any dispute concerning the claim or demand.

(C) Extend the time for payment of the claim or demand.

(D) Abandon the claim or demand.

(25) Sell, mortgage, or lease any real or personal property of the estate or any interest therein for cash, credit, or for part cash and part credit, and with or without security for unpaid balances.

(26) Select a settlement option under any qualified or nonqualified benefit or retirement plan, annuity, or life insurance payable to the estate, and take appropriate action to collect the proceeds.

(27) Inspect and investigate property held, directly or indirectly, by the personal representative for the purpose of:

(A) determining the application of environmental law with respect to the property; and

(B) doing the following:

(i) Take action to prevent, abate, or remedy an actual or a potential violation of an environmental law affecting the property, whether taken before or after the assertion of a claim or the initiation of governmental enforcement by federal, state, or local authorities.

(ii) Compromise claims against the estate that may be asserted for an alleged violation of environmental law.

(iii) Pay the expense of inspection, review, abatement, or remedial action to comply with the environmental law.

(28) Distribute assets of the estate upon such terms as the personal representative may impose. To the extent practicable, taking into account the decedent's probable intention, the power to distribute assets includes the power to:

(A) pay an amount to a distributee who is under a legal disability or whom the personal representative reasonably believes to be incapacitated by:

(i) paying the amount directly to the distributee or applying the amount for the distributee's use and benefit;

(ii) paying the amount to the guardian appointed for the distributee;

(iii) paying the amount to a custodian under the Indiana Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (IC 30-2-8.5) or a custodial trustee under the Uniform Custodial Trust Act (IC 30-2-8.6); or

(iv) paying the amount to the trustee of a trust established by the decedent or by the personal representative under subsection (b); and

(B) make distributions of estate income and principal in kind, in cash, or partly in each, in shares of differing composition.

(29) Perform any other act necessary or appropriate to administer the estate.

     (b) A personal representative who administers an estate under this chapter may, without court order, establish a trust to make distributions to a distributee who is under a legal disability or whom the personal representative reasonably believes is incapacitated. In establishing a trust under this subsection, a personal representative may exercise:

(1) the authority given to custodians under the Indiana Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (IC 30-2-8.5) to create a trust that satisfies the requirements of Section 2503(c) of the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations adopted under that Section; or

(2) the authority given to an attorney in fact under IC 30-5-5-15(a)(3) to establish a revocable trust for the benefit of a principal.

Formerly: Acts 1975, P.L.288, SEC.11. As amended by Acts 1976, P.L.125, SEC.3; Acts 1981, P.L.260, SEC.1; P.L.182-1999, SEC.4; P.L.84-2002, SEC.1; P.L.61-2006, SEC.3; P.L.95-2007, SEC.6.


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