If your mother or father dies with assets left in their name, those assets will likely need to be probated. In the event that you’re named as a parent’s estate executor, you’ll play a key role during the probate process. Your duties will typically include securing items inside their California home or perhaps the home itself.
You’ll need to act quick
It’s likely that you’ll need time to grieve the loss of a loved one. However, as an estate executor, you will also need to take action in a timely manner to ensure that your mother or father’s affairs can be settled. In addition to securing assets, your duties include opening a bank account for the estate, publishing a death notice and presenting the will to the probate court. Tax returns and other documents will need to be filed soon after your parent passes.
Tips for staying organized
Checklists may be available online to help you keep track of what you need to do and when you need to do it. Your loved one may also assist by creating a master list of important files, passwords and anything else that you’ll need to settle their affairs properly. The court may also be of assistance throughout the case, and as long as you don’t make any willful or malicious errors, it’s unlikely that you’ll be held responsible if something goes wrong.
As an estate executor, you’ll likely spend weeks or months working with the court to ensure that bills are paid and assets are distributed correctly. You will also need to evaluate creditor claims or defend against claims made by beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries.