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I do not have much confidence in the executor of the estate. What should I watch out for under California law?

Under California probate law, the executor of the decedent’s estate has a fiduciary duty requiring him or her to act with integrity, disclose all information to the beneficiaries, act in fairness and with diligence, manage the estate with caution, and deal with all beneficiaries equally. If you have concerns, you should be attentive to attempts by the executor to hide assets or make disbursements before disclosing assets. You should verify the executor’s accounting starting with the correct evaluation and listing of all assets at time of death and recording all the in- and outflows up to the final balance. An important point is to verify the way creditors have been notified and payments have been made for taxes and debts.

Finally, the executor’s duty is to strictly follow the terms of the will. Well, what if you have any suspicion of fraud or feel that the estate’s succession is not being handled properly? In that case, we highly recommend that you seek the advice of an experienced California probate lawyer today.

Call San Diego estate planning and probate attorney Scott Grossman for a free discussion of your case. Feel free to also order your own FREE copy of The Insider’s Guide to California Probate and Trust Administration.

Executor (noun):

Person named in a Will as the person who will make sure that the instructions in the Will are followed. They are responsible for executing the Will, and are either appointed by the court or by the deceased person. They are responsible for taking care of a deceased person’s financial obligations. Financial obligations include disposing of property and paying bills and taxes. The executor must also make certain that the deceased last wishes are carried out according to the Will.

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.

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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