Advice for Estate Executors: Get Help

4:09 pm Probate

last will1 150x150 Advice for Estate Executors:  Get HelpMost people who are asked by a family member or close friend to act as the executor of an estate consider it an honor, the ultimate symbol of the trust that person has in you.  However, that warm feeling can soon vanish once the reality of the job of executor kicks in, as detailed in a Wall Street Journal article earlier this week.

As the article notes, the job of executor comes with a long list of tasks that must be handled, and there can be legal repercussions if those tasks are handled incorrectly.

Once you have been appointed the executor you are considered the responsible party during the probate process and can be held accountable by the beneficiaries. As the executor, the following is a partial list of your responsibilities:

  • Reviewing estate assets.
  • Creating an accounting of the deceased’s assets and liabilities.
  • Giving notice to potential creditors.
  • Settling outstanding debts.
  • Making distributions for estate taxes.
  • Making distributions to heirs.
  • Filing a final accounting with the court to close the probate process.

In addition, it will also be your responsibility to make sure the mortgage and other fees to keep the estate viable continue to be paid during the probate process. Probate can often be a lengthy process, so you may petition the court to release short-term supply funds for this purpose while proceedings continue.

These are all standard duties of an estate executor.  However, if the estate is large or complex, the executor may be tied up for years with depositions and court appearances.

Most people find the executor process overwhelming, but the good news is that you don’t have to go through it alone. You can ask the probate court to appoint someone to oversee the process or find a California probate attorney to help.

Your California legal and financial planning experts are at your service; Contact us today.

One Response

  1. murray sklar Says:

    as an executor you should get additional liability insurance; in Quebec the obligatory liability insurance does not cover a lawyer acting as an executor; law suits and disputes can take a toll; even the executor fees and/or legal fees charged can be challenged, especially if the estate is insolvent

    it may take a long time to
    determine if an estate is insolvent-eg missing financial statements, minute books, bank statements; as a professional engaged to settle an estate you may be required to spend many hours of billable time; aggressive creditors of the estate may challenge the time spent

    beware before you take on the task!!

    murray sklar

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

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