If you are an executor of a will in the state of California, you may feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities and duties that come with holding such a title. It is important for an Executor to understand how they should do their jobs correctly. Some helpful tips for executors include:
- Unless a court formally appoints you as the Executor of the estate in question, you may not have any powers or duties. Although a person is named as an Executor in a Will, the Executor still has to file a Petition for Probate with the court which can result in a court order appointing you as the Executor.
- An Executor has the responsibility to inventory and appraise the estate. Even though you may know what the assets are and what they are worth, its essential to receive an appraisal of the assets. An Executor has 120 days to file the completed appraisal with the Court.
- Executors have a duty to pay creditors. As a result, an executor has to notify all creditors of the probate so a creditor may assert a claim against the estate for unpaid and owed debts.
- An Executor cannot distribute any assets of the estate without a court order. This means that regardless of the circumstances of any beneficiary, if the Executor does not have a court order appointing them as Executor and allowing them to act pursuant to the Will, he or she cannot make any distributions.
- In California, every action you take as an Executor requires court approval. An Executor can request the court grant full powers when they petition the court to act as Executor. Full powers can allow the executor do proceed with sales of property or distribution of assets without gaining additional court approval.
If you have been named the Executor in a Will, it may be wise to consult with an attorney to understand your responsibilities as an Executor. An experienced estate administration attorney can help guide you through the complexities that may be involved in probating a Will.
If you need the dedicated legal representation for wills, trusts, and estate matters in California, contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation.