California Estate Administration: What to Do When There’s a Death in the Family

9:00 pm Probate

funeral ribbon 150x150 California Estate Administration: What to Do When There’s a Death in the FamilyExpert Advice from California’s Top Probate Attorneys

A death in the family often imposes cruel demands on family members, not the least being the necessity to tackle a list of financial responsibilities.  Here is a list of the  most critical financial duties to perform in the days and weeks after a loved one dies:

Find the will.  It must be the original document, not a copy.

Locate information on assets and liabilities.  This may take some sleuthing if the decedent was not organized, and includes insurance policies, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts, pension plans, etc.

Contact employer.  If the decedent was still employed, contact his or her employer for information on 401(k) or other retirement accounts as well as any insurance benefits.

Monitor the mail.  Look for account and loan statements and bills.

Pay bills.  The executor named in the will (or by the court) will be responsible for paying the monthly bills from the estate, and will need to petition the court for “operating” expenses.

Tax returns.  The executor will also be responsible for filing tax returns on behalf of the estate.

Consult a lawyer.  Many people are uncomfortable handling an estate; an Orange County probate lawyer can assist executors with carrying out their legal duties.  At the very least, an executor should consult with a probate attorney to ensure what they are doing is correct.

Let our Costa Mesa law offices help you get started by contacting us today.

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