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How can I tell if the executor or trustee of a California estate is acting properly in his role?

For those beneficiaries and heirs unfamiliar with the California estate administration process, it is not always clear whether the executor or trustee of a California estate is acting properly and in accordance with state law. It is important for beneficiaries to play close attention, however, because it is their inheritance that is at stake. Fortunately, an experienced San Diego estate attorney can help protect your interests from a dishonest or incompetent administrator, executor, or trustee.

Six helpful steps to take in order to ensure that the trustee of a California estate is acting properly:

  • First of all, contact a California probate lawyer who can review the terms of the trust or will and carefully monitor the actions of the trustee or executor.
  • Also, be certain that you are receiving frequent updates on the status of the estate administration from the trustee.
  • Furthermore, monitor the bookkeeping of the trustee or executor. If you suspect that the individual is not keeping up with accountings, it is important to take action early.
  • Additionally, review whether the executor or trustee is obtaining valuations and qualified appraisals for estate property.
  • Lastly, make sure that the executor or trustee is maintaining an arms-length relationship. He should not be selling estate property to himself or to anyone related to him.

In conclusion, the estate administration process is complex and requires the guidance of an experienced legal professional. View our free guide The Insider’s Guide to California Probate and Trust Administration to learn more about the obligations and responsibilities that the executor or trustee owes to the beneficiaries.

If you need help, contact an experienced San Diego trust lawyer today for guidance in protecting your interests in an estate. If you do not believe that a trustee of a California estate is acting properly, call our toll-free number at (888) 443-6590. Or contact us via our quick and easy online form today. It would be our pleasure to assist you.

Estate (noun):

An estate includes the things that a person owns. The things left by someone who has died can be distributed based on a Will, Trust, or Intestate laws. Estates have to be administered in the Probate Court if the estate meets certain criteria. See our Infographic on The Probate Process.

Administrator (noun):

The Administrator of an Estate is a legal term. This term refers to someone appointed by a Court to administer the Estate of a deceased person with no Will.

Scott Grossman

Scott Grossman


The Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307

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