Being asked to serve as the personal representative for the estate of a loved one in Woodland Hills is a tremendous responsibility, which can even carry financial penalties if you are unable to fulfill the duties entrusted to you. In order to meet the obligations that come with the role, you have to prove to interested parties to the estate that you have the legal authority to manage its assets. Otherwise, they may refuse to disclose important information to you. Yet how can you prove that you have been granted this authority?
According to information shared by the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles, you can obtain Letters of Administration to help fulfill your duties as a personal representative. Letters of Administration are court documents signed by a judge confirming your appointment to administer the estate. These can be presented to banks and financial institutions, trustees, or even tax authorities.
When requesting Letters of Administration, you must specify which of the following scenarios applies to your case:
- The decedent’s will has been offered for probate and names you as the personal representative.
- The decedent’s will has been offered for probate but has not named you as personal representative.
- The decedent did not name a personal representative and you are requesting that responsibility until one can be named by the court.
- The decedent died without a will.
Letters of Administration are only required if your loved one’s estate has a total value of greater than $150,000 in assets. If his or her estate is valued less than that, then his or her beneficiaries may be able to complete small estate affidavit to have their assets transferred to them directly and avoid the probate process altogether.