If you've been named executor in a will, or seek appointment as administrator, the probate court will hold you to a high standard when managing the estate. Here are some of your duties as personal representative of the estate:
Managing the assets of the estate
When managing estate property, remember these items:
- You are held to a standard of a prudent person investing someone else's property
- Make careful investment (not speculative)
- Keep estate property separate from your own (set up a separate account for estate funds)
- Other than an administrative checking account, any estate account must be interest-bearing
- Get permission from the court, or ask your attorney, before spending estate funds
Providing an inventory of property in the estate
One of the first things you will do as personal representative is locate and take possession of the assets in the estate, determine their value, and file an inventory and appraisal with the court (within 4 months after Letters are issued). For real property, you will need to file a change of ownership report with the county recorder or assessor.
Providing notice to creditors
You must notify creditors of the death within 4 months of appointment. You also have to give notice to Medi-Cal and any other appropriate agency, depending on the circumstances.
Insuring estate property
You should have sufficient insurance over estate property to cover any risks there might be to the property.
Keeping good records
Keep track of all financial transactions, property received, money spent, the date, description, and how much you have left. You will have to file an accounting, subject to court approval, so keep your receipts.
Obtaining legal assistance
If you need help, contact an attorney who can help with the probate process. Their fees are paid out of the estate, at the end of the probate administration.
Helix Law Firm can help with probate
If you are a named executor or a beneficiary of a probate estate, we can help you through the process.
If you're interested in learning more, please call us at (619) 567-4447 to schedule a free consultation.