California Estate Administration Basics

Once the funeral is over, the next step is estate administration. It’s very likely that the named executor or administrator has never held the responsibility of administering an estate. The California probate process can take between 12 to 18 months provided that everything goes smoothly. There are a lot of steps involved in the process. In this post, we’re going to look at estate administration basics.

Factors That Affect Administration Time

There are several factors that can affect the time takes to complete the estate administration process. The executor and administrator must know:

The type of assets held by the decedent. The probate court will need an inventory of property. In a good estate plan, there should be a basic list of the assets.

Where the assets are located. This is important because if assets are located in a different state, there is a possibility that the estate administration process can become a little more complicated. Additionally, knowing the location of assets will help the administrator or executor distribute them according to the wishes of the decedent.

Debts associated with the estate. The type of debts, the amount of the debts, and other claims that may be made against the estate is crucial. Creditors have one year to file a claim. Most creditors who are made aware of the death will promptly file a claim against the estate. However, it is hard for the administrator or executive to ensure that creditors are paid if they don’t know which debts exist.

The location of the will. If a will cannot be found or if the will is considered invalid, the State of California will use intestate laws to determine what happens to the assets within the estate. These rules aren’t always so cut and dry. They may not uphold the desires the decedent had before their death.

Whether family members or other beneficiaries can get along. Fighting among actual or potential beneficiaries, as well as existing bad blood, can create big problems for estate administration. It can draw out the process.

You Found the Will – Now What?

A will was found. So what happens now? The probate court will review the will to make sure that it is valid. The ultimate outcome is for assets to be distributed according to the wishes record in the will. The executor or administrator may also be required to interpret certain parts of the will. It’s important for the executor to take the time to review and carefully interpret the will. If there are any questions at all, they should consult with a lawyer.

After that, the executor will need to communicate with the beneficiaries. It’s not legally required to hold an actual meeting with them, but it may be easier to do so in regards to explaining the next steps and discussing the timeline for estate administration. Regular reports to the beneficiaries will need to be made.

Probate and Estate Administration

The probate process directly affects estate administration. There are several reports and deadlines that the executor will be responsible for meeting. Because this is a legal process, the executor will need to provide a sworn affidavit and will also be responsible for covering court costs and probate fees.

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