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By: Scott Grossman on September 15th, 2016

Riverside Trust Lawyer Describes the Duties of an Executor

What are the Duties of an Executor?

Following the passing of a loved one, friends and family members are often left feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of settling the affairs of the deceased. Navigating the California probate laws can be difficult when combined with the emotional pain that accompanies the loss of a loved one. For some individuals who were named executor or executrix under the deceased’s will, they may not even have been aware that they would be asked to serve in this role. Fortunately, an experienced San Diego trust attorney can help guide those appointed executors of an estate through the California probate process.

The executor

In California, an executor is the person who is in charge of overseeing the winding down of the deceased’s affairs. Depending on the type and amount of assets within the estate, this task can be small or large. There is no requirement that an executor have any specialized knowledge about the law or finances. The executor simply must carry out the wishes of the deceased as outlined in his or her will and in accordance with California probate rules. The following are examples of the tasks that an executor must oversee:

  • Locate all of the assets of the deceased, including bank accounts, real estate, motor vehicles, and investment accounts.
  • Manage the assets within the estate until they are distributed to the heirs or beneficiaries of the estate.
  • Determine who stands to inherit the property of the deceased as outlined in the will.
  • File the will in the local probate court.
  • Notify appropriate entities of the passing of the deceased, including the Social Security Administration, post office, Medicare, and Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
  • Set up and manage an estate bank account. This account will receive and hold all income that is payable to the estate.
  • Pay certain debts and expenses of the estate.
  • File income tax returns and estate tax returns, where necessary.
  • Oversee the distribution of property to the appropriate parties.

Fortunately, an experienced Riverside trust lawyer can guide executors through all of the above tasks. To learn more, contact The Grossman Law Firm at (888) 443-6590.