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Probate deals with the administration of a decedent’s estate. If there was a will, the court will ensure the recognition of the will as valid and the proper execution of its terms. This may entail considerable upset and complication. Some heirs may be unhappy with what the will provides. They may believe that the decedent was not in his proper mind or was unfairly influenced. There is also the matter of administration. A dispute may arise as to who should administer the estate as executor or how should the assets be divided? Should the house be sold and the money divided or should one party be allowed to take the house and compensate the others and at what price? As probate is often complicated and contentious, should you be connected to a probate matter, you are encouraged to contact a Los Angeles Probate & Trust Litigation attorney.
Probate administration has to do the management of the estate of a decedent who has left a will or died without a will. In the will, the decedent normally appoints a person to serve as the manager of the estate, called the executor. If there is no will, the court will appoint an administrator to manage the administration of the estate. If you have been named as the executor or administrator, you have a number of duties and must comply with specific requirements of the law. As these requirements are exact, it is advised that you have experienced assistance as you navigate this area. You are urged to contact a Los Angeles probate lawyer.
As executor to an estate, you have a number of duties and actions. You are a fiduciary, which means that you as an executor have a duty to act for the best interests of the estate. You may not take advantage of your position for personal profit. You must keep the funds of the estate in a separate, well-marked bank account and do regular accountings to the court.
A number of specific actions are expected of an executor:
File the Petition for Probate
Publish Notice of the Petition to Administer Estate
Mail notices of hearing to persons required to receive notice
File a bond to guarantee your performance
Prepare an Inventory and Appraisal of the assets
Give notice to known creditors of their opportunity to file claims
Pay debts (If not enough funds, you may have to sell assets to accomplish this.)
File a Final Accounting and Final Petition for Final Distribution and give notice to all parties
Appear at final hearing and then implement the judge’s Judgment of Final Distribution