Executor’s Duties in the Probate Process in CA

The Executor’s duties in settling an Estate in Probate in California are fairly complex but taking things a step at a time will make it much easier. After the first step of reading the will and conferring with the attorney and other beneficiaries it is very important to make sure you safeguard all real and personal property. Also gather multiple certified copies of the Death Certificate as you will need to submit it to a variety of institutions – bank, credit cards, title insurance company,…

Safeguard the assets

Safeguarding the assets is not as instinctual as other steps especially if this is the first time being an Executor. In many cases it is a good idea to change the locks to the home to limit who has access to the property. It is not uncommon for relatives to begin to remove property before probate has even been filed. This may occur from lack of knowledge of the process or from dishonorable intentions but it is more common than you might expect.

A second very important task is to contact the homeowner’s insurance carrier to add coverage if the property is vacant. If there is a plumbing leak and no one is in the house to notice the leak the damage may be much more extensive so this vacant property coverage often increases the premium amount. For more information watch my video https://janeybishop.video/vacant-home . There are now affordable security camera systems including some with moisture detection components. One of these might be a wise investment by the Estate.

Inventories of all Assets

The process of creating an inventory of all assets can also gather the information for the appraisal of assets. The value of financial cash accounts is straight forward. Stock and security values are fairly easily obtained. It is helpful depending on the value of real property to have a realtor provide an assessment of the value. This is important if the beneficiaries are offspring and the step-up basis comes into play and needs to be calculated, regardless of whether the property will be sold in the short-term. Determining the value of collectible items and other personal property can often require the expertise of an estate appraiser or valuation specialist. Friends and family will offer opinions of value but do not accept these estimates or any offers without professional verification.

Next Steps

Many of the next steps such as administering the estate, preparing the tax returns and settling claims will be managed by the Attorney and CPA with the information you gather during your inventory and valuation of assets. Do not make any payments or commitments without professional guidance as you don’t want to become personally responsible for an error.

Going through probate here in the San Fernando Valley can be tough, and you shouldn’t have to do it alone. There are resources available to help you make purposeful decisions and keep you and your family from being taken advantage of in your unique situation. Click here to schedule a worry-free conversation and get all of your questions answered.