A personal representative is a “fiduciary”, which refers to someone who is acting in a position of trust for the benefit of others. As a fiduciary, a personal representative is held to a high standard of integrity, ethics, and accountability. This guideline was prepared to give an overview of the duties and responsibilities of a personal representative to help avoid the civil and criminal liability that can result from failure to comply with applicable state and federal laws. Recent changes in Medicaid law have significantly reduced last minute asset protection opportunities. While there are still a few beneficial options available if you fail to plan ahead, they apply only in very specific situations and are not commonly available. The only sure-fire way to maximize the assets protected for your family is to begin planning at least five (5) years prior to a nursing home admission. Click here to read the entire post about your duties as a personal representative.