When a person dies, the person’s estate executor or administrator is in charge of paying outstanding debts and distributing all remaining assets to beneficiaries as designated in the deceased’s will. This is achieved by a court process referred to as “probate”, which can be quite time-consuming. Without a will, California law determines how administration will take place.
Role of a Personal Representative in Probate
A personal representative is named in a will (as an “executor”) or appointed by the court (as an “administrator”). The personal representative’s responsibilities are significant and typically include:
- Locate and file the Last Will and Testament
- Locate, inventory, custody, close and transfer personal assets/accounts
- Appraise and value all assets
- Pay debts and expenses associated with end of life
- Make payments to creditors and obtain creditor releases
- Process and receive life insurance death benefits
- Secure personal residence and tangible personal property
- File appropriate tax returns (federal and California) and make appropriate tax decisions
- Pay estate taxes and final personal income taxes
- Obtain tax releases and closing letters from local courts, the IRS and the Franchise Tax Board
- Make specific bequests, as well as partial and final distributions to beneficiaries (including packing and shipping of tangible personal property)
- Provide complete detailed accounting to the local court and estate beneficiaries
As you can see, probating an estate is no easy task. The probate process is complex and can be lengthy if not handled correctly. Mika Domingo is an experienced trust and estates attorney with a passion for helping others. She is your trusted advisor and will help you navigate the probate process to get a favorable result as quickly as possible.
Mika was selected as a Super Lawyer Rising Star, an honor bestowed upon the top 2.5% of attorneys, in 2018 and 2019. She also holds an Avvo “Superb” rating (a perfect 10 out of 10). You won't find another law firm capable of providing the combination of personalized service and probate expertise at the rates offered by M.S. Domingo Law Group, P.C. We offer a free consultation, and look forward to discussing your situation.