If you become the executor of someone’s California estate, you likely will wonder if you should hire an attorney to help you go through the probate process. As with so many other yes-or-no decisions, the answer is: it depends. Given that probate is the legal process by which an estate gets settled, whether or not you need an attorney depends on the complexity of the estate and the issues it, and you as its executor, face.
Many people like the idea of having assets they can pass on to their surviving loved ones. Whether these assets are monetary funds, personal items, real estate or something else, it is important to take the right steps to protect those assets. In some cases, the remaining assets of an estate could face risks.
Trustees have a duty to remain impartial and to administer the trust in a way that is wholly beneficial to the trustee and its beneficiaries. If your California trustee breaches his or her duty in any way, you have the option to relieve him or her from his or her role. Unfortunately, however, it is difficult to remove a trustee without just cause, unless, of course, the trustee manages your own trust. FindLaw details five grounds on which you can remove the trustee of a deceased's or incapacitated loved one's estate.
As a California resident, you may have heard your friends and/or family members talking about their estate plans on occasion. Depending on who they are and what their own estate plans include, they may have used such words as “will,” “living trust,” “health care directive,” “financial power of attorney,” or any number of other words or terms.
Last week we discussed the fact that when you assume the responsibilities of becoming the executor of someone’s California estate, one of your duties will be to pay the taxes owed by both the deceased person and the estate itself. This week we turn to the additional duties you likewise will need to perform.