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.
When California residents begin their duties as the executive of a loved one's estate, they may expect to fill out paperwork and distribute assets. They may not, however, consider the tax duties that come with this position.
When you become the trustee of someone’s trust or the executor of his or her California estate, you also become a fiduciary. What this means is that the grantor of the trust or the testator of the will trusted you enough to put you in a position of authority to carry out his or her wishes. In other words, you have a duty to the heirs or beneficiaries to do the best you can to manage and distribute the assets per the provisions of the trust or will.
When you have a close family, the last thing you would expect after you are gone is for your loved ones to fight over your estate. Unfortunately, this is a common scenario for many California families, as we at the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo are aware. Naturally, you want to help your family avoid conflict and stay close, and one of the most effective ways to achieve this is by carefully planning your will or trusts to avoid any confusion or hard feelings.
If you have recently been named the executor of an estate, you may be feeling undue pressure and stress at the task that looms before you. You may feel that you do not have time to undertake the position while juggling your normal day-to-day responsibilities. Becoming organized and aware of what is going on around you can help simplify this somewhat complicated process.
If you are a California resident who is serving as the personal representative of someone’s probate estate, you already may know that one of your last duties is to prepare the estate’s final accounting and file it with the Superior Court. You must do this so the court can officially close the estate.
While many people avoid probate if possible in California— often through the use of robust estate planning and trusts— you might be in a position where it is either preferable to go through probate or unavoidable to enter probate considering the final configuration of the estate. Many people in your position have the same first question: How much will probate cost? While this price varies depending on the complexity of your estate holdings, there are some legal guidelines that might give you an idea of how much you should expect to pay for the resolution of the estate.
At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we are acutely aware that individuals seeking our services in California probate law are, more often than not, experiencing intense emotional distress following a personal loss. As you might expect, the typical mindset of a bereaved individual is not conducive to absorbing fine points of legal procedure or processing complicated financial arrangements. This is why we make it our priority to help clients organize their thoughts if and when they find themselves involved in either formal probate or summary proceedings.
The main goal of estate planning is to allow Woodland Hills residents to share their assets with beneficiaries according to their own wishes. Yet that happening may depend largely on the competency and trustworthiness of whomever one chooses to be his or her personal representative. There are a number of things that a personal representative can do that may be prejudicial to an estate and can disqualify him or her from the role. A breach of fiduciary duty in this regard includes any actions (or inactions) that go against those rights and responsibilities conferred on the personal representative (provided they were done in bad faith).