Most people who are appointed to serve as the personal representative of a loved one’s estate have no experience handling a probate action or how to administer assets. If you are feeling lost and not sure what your duties and obligations are, it is important to seek the advice and guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney.
The duties and obligations of a California personal representative are numerous. The following are examples of some of the tasks you may be required to perform in administering your loved one’s estate:
- Reading of the Last Will and Testament
- Comply with the decedent’s instructions for burial or cremation
- Do what is necessary to protect assets of the estate – this may include notifying financial institutions, insurance companies and other entities of your loved one’s death
- File a probate action with the court
- Take a comprehensive inventory of the assets in the estate
- Have the estate assets appraised
- Provide the required notifications to beneficiaries, heirs and creditors
- If creditors make claims against the estate, they must be resolved
- File personal and estate tax returns
- Submit a final accounting to the court and distribute all property accordingly
- Ensure that you administer the estate according to the terms of the Will
- Obtain a final discharge of your duties from the court
If reading the above list makes you feel overwhelmed by your job as a personal representative, let us help.
When attorney Diane Anderson’s mother was 33 years old, she died in a plane crash. This sudden, untimely death was an emotionally overwhelming time for Ms. Anderson. She learned the difficult lesson that life is not promised to any of us and how difficult it is for the surviving family. Contact The Law Office of Diane Anderson for the help and advice you need.