Dealing with Probate in California

Dealing With Probate – Duties of an Executor

Before you begin the probate process, you should understand what it entails. The court will appoint an administrator, or personal representative, to oversee the estate. This individual will typically be the closest living relative, or someone who will inherit some of the decedent’s assets. Although a personal representative does not need to have legal training, they should be honest, unbiased, diligent, and possess reasonable prudence and judgment. Irrevocable Trust Furthermore, the personal representative must act in the best interest of the beneficiaries, as it is their fiduciary duty to do so.
Executor is responsible for accounting

An executor has many duties, but one of the most important is accounting for an estate. As the personal representative of the estate, an executor must ensure all taxes are paid. Although he is not personally liable, he is responsible for the value of the assets distributed to beneficiaries. Listed below are the responsibilities of an executor when dealing with probate in California. Read on to learn more.
Distribution of assets

If your loved one left behind a will, distribution of assets can be complicated. If your loved one had a living trust or transfer on death deed, the probate process in California can be straightforward. You can also transfer assets that were payable on death to your beneficiaries. By following these steps, you can avoid probate in California. Read on to learn more. Also, consider a living trust or transfer on death deed to avoid probate.
Payment of debts

When dealing with probate in California, the Personal Representative (PR) must understand how to deal with creditors and their claims. A common type of estate creditor is the US government, and the estate will pay this debt first. Secured debt, on the other hand, is attached to collateral and must be paid back in case of default. However, in some cases, the heirs can also be responsible for settling certain debts.
Taxes

As the executor of a deceased person’s estate, your job is to handle the tax obligations of the deceased’s assets. You are also liable for the debts of the decedent, including taxes due to the federal government and state governments. You may need to pay taxes to the federal government if the decedent had a business, such as a real estate. Also, if your decedent had a gift of real estate in another country, you will need to file a gift tax return.
Notice to beneficiaries

While the California Probate Code has very strict notice requirements, there are many ways to circumvent them. For example, a written instrument, such as a trust, can be used to avoid giving notice to beneficiaries. However, the document must comply with the formalities of a will. The probate attorney will need to know whether community funds were used to pay a premium. A written instrument must be accompanied by an appropriate citation.
Costs

Depending on the complexity of the estate, the costs of dealing with probate can be as high as $54,000. These fees are in addition to the statutory legal fees. They are based on the gross value of the decedent’s estate and are usually split between the attorney and the estate representative. However, the attorney’s fees may exceed this figure in some cases. Whether you opt for the assistance of a California estate attorney or to hire someone else, you should expect to spend more money in dealing with probate.

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