Woodland Hills Executor Attorney

Helping executors fulfill their obligations to an estate

The executor of an estate is an important position involving responsibility and trust. The executor has significant obligations not only to the testator and the family but also to creditors. Affecting the written instructions of the deceased may conflict with what the personal representative feels the decedent would have, or should have, done. Being an executor is an honor but it is one that is coupled with great responsibility and the process of working through the administration of an estate can be quite complicated. If you are preparing your own will, you need to understand what will be required of an executor before you nominate someone in your will to serve in this capacity.  You should discuss an attorney how to choose an executor.  If you are an executor, you deserve the guidance of an experienced estate and probate lawyer to help you to discharge the duties and obligations required of you. The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman has over 35 years of experience helping individuals develop a comprehensive estate plan, including how to pick an executor. Our firm has also helped countless individuals through the complex process of being an executor. If you need effective and skillful guidance through this matter, contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman for a consultation to discuss your legal matter.

Choosing an executor

If you are developing an estate plan, including drafting and executing a will, you should pick an executor to carry out your wishes and ensure that your estate is settled in the manner you envisioned. When deciding on the person to be your executor, it is important to appreciate the task at hand. The person you choose will have to go through a document-heavy, complex, and time-consuming process. It is important to pick a person that can fully satisfy their obligations. They should be someone you trust. They should also be someone agreeable to potential beneficiaries.

Becoming an executor

If you are chosen to be an executor and probate is necessary, you will most likely have to file a Petition for Letters of Administration to appoint you as the executor of the will. This will usually be carried out with the guidance of a legal professional. Once that matter is complete, you must act on the behalf of the estate.

What does an executor do?

The executor will carry out the wishes of the deceased. He or she may bring the will to probate, gather assets, pay estate debts, and distribute bequests to the beneficiaries. In addition, an executor may need to preserve assets, file tax returns, and pay any estate and inheritance taxes that are due. An executor may have to coordinate with various attorneys, accountants, financial experts, and beneficiaries.

Are executors compensated for their time?

California is one of many states that compensate executors for the time they put into administering the estate. The formula for compensation is based on the probate code. It is determined by the value of the estate and the percentage provided to the executor decreases as the value of the estate increases. For example, the executor will get 4% on the first $100,000, 3% on the next $100,000, and so on.

What happens if an executor fails his or her duties?

If an executor fails their duty to the estate, they could be removed. The test for removal is stringent. It is based on whether there is prejudice to the estate or the beneficiaries’ welfare. Simply put, an executor will have to act in a manner that would be negligent, dishonest, without reasonable fidelity, otherwise “endangering the estate.” Each case is different. Important factors and past court cases will determine if the executor should be removed. Therefore, it is important to have representation that can help an executor through the process.

Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman

If you need to pick an executor or have been chosen to be one, it is important to have quality legal support. The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman has over 35 years of experience helping testators and executors through the estate process. Our warm, comforting, and effective approach to the law allow us to ease the stress of our clients while providing the legal services they deserve. If you need to schedule a consultation, contact our firm to discuss your legal matter.