Know Your Responsibilities as a Fiduciary: Administering an Estate in California
Responsibilities as a Fiduciary:
Serving as a personal representative/fiduciary in California comes with a lot of responsibilities. In addition, the personal representative has certain duties and must live up to these duties or risk possible liability. Fortunately, fiduciaries do not have to navigate the sometimes confusing probate laws alone. An important part of serving as a personal representative is to know what your duties are.
Major responsibilities involved in a California probate include:
- Find all of the assets of the decedent. This can be difficult when the decedent did not leave behind a list or other form of organized financial affairs.
- Make necessary payments on behalf of the estate. This may include court fees, insurance costs, and mortgage payments. Consult with an attorney before making any payment, however, as certain expenses and debts may be subject to priority rules.
- Make a list of all of the creditors.
- Make a list of potential beneficiaries.
- Prepare and file all probate forms.
- Send all required notices.
- Pay estate taxes, if applicable.
- Distribute the assets of the estate to the rightful beneficiaries.
Understanding how the probate process works can help you to stay on track with regard to these responsibilities.
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