Being named the executor of an estate can be overwhelming. There is a lot to take care of in order to make sure an estate is distributed properly and that taxes and creditors are appropriately paid. If one has not been through this before it can be difficult to know where to begin. To make the process easier, the first thing an executor should do before filing a case in a California probate court is to take inventory of assets, debts and legal documents.
Why is taking inventory so important? Think about it -- if businesses did not take inventory on a regular basis, items may slip through the cracks and they could end up losing money and hurting their bottom lines. If an executor fails to take inventory, beneficiaries may suffer as the estate may not be fully or properly administered.
What should an executor gather before proceeding with probate? There are actually quite a few things that an executor should find before proceeding with probate administration. These include:
- Estate planning documents
- Special instructions left by the deceased
- Financial statements
- Life insurance policies
- Information about debts
- Information about shared assets
- Tax returns
After everything is gathered and sorted through, the executor can then file a motion to proceed with administration in a California probate court. Probate can take quite some time, especially if there are any issues that arise. An experienced attorney can assist an executor throughout the process in order to make sure it is completed in a timely manner and without error.
Source: thebalance.com, "How to Probate an Estate: Inventory, Documents & Assets", Julie Garber, Accessed on June 15, 2017