(a) A personal representative is a fiduciary who shall observe the standards of care
applicable to trustees as described by sections 554D-804, 554D-806, and 554D-808(c). 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
chapter, 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 chapter, 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, 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 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 or reciprocal beneficiary, any minor and dependent children and any pretermitted
child of the decedent as described elsewhere in this chapter.
(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 the decedent's 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.
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