Administering an Estate in California: 10 Important Tasks
Serving as the executor of a loved one’s estate is a significant responsibility. Many people who find themselves serving in this role have no prior experience administering an estate in California. As a result, an executor may be uncertain as to what is expected, what obligations exist, and what steps to take first. Mistakes can, unfortunately, be costly to the estate and its beneficiaries.
In addition to complying with the California probate laws relating to estates, executors should take the following steps when Administering an Estate in California:
- Obtain several copies of the death certificate.
- Set up mail forwarding so that you receive bills, notifications, and other communications relating to the assets and debts of the decedent.
- Order copies of the decedent’s credit report to help find assets and debts that you may not be aware of.
- Notify the Social Security Administration if the decedent was receiving Social Security benefits.
- Open an estate bank account.
- Obtain necessary insurance policies on real estate, vehicles, and other assets, if applicable.
- Cancel utilities and services such as cable, Internet, cell phone, and landscaping.
- Cancel credit cards to reduce the chances of fraud.
- Gather a list of all of the heirs or beneficiaries and obtain addresses and contact information for each individual.
- Gather all receipts and invoices that may provide information as to the decedent’s assets and debts.
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