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Understanding the process of appointing an estate administrator

Woodland Hills residents are strongly recommended to engage in estate planning early in their adult lives so as to avoid issues with the management of their affairs once they are gone. Nevertheless, we here at The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo can attest to the fact that many die without having named a personal representative or even creating any estate planning articles. If you have had a loved one pass away without such resources in place, then you and other interested parties may justly be wondering how his or her estate is to be handled.

According to the California Probate Code, the court will appoint an administrator to manage your loved one's estate if he or she dies intestate. The order of priority when making such an appointment is as follows:

  •          The surviving spouse or domestic partner
  •          Any children, grandchildren, or other surviving issue
  •          Parents
  •          Siblings
  •          Surviving issue of siblings
  •          Grandparents

The list goes on to name other levels of surviving next of kin, and then on to conservators, guardians, and creditors.

If the decedent was your spouse, your appointment to administrator is only approved if you are entitled to succeed all or part of the estate. If you were in engaged in divorce or annulment proceedings and were living apart at the time of his or her death, your appointment priority is placed after his or her siblings.

If you are in line to be appointed as administrator to your loved one’s estate but do not wish to assume the role, you can nominate another. However, your nomination is only given priority after those in your particular class of nomination have been given a chance to become the administrator.

Your can find more information on estate administration guidelines by continuing to explore our site. 

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20350 Ventura Boulevard
Suite 110
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

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