Probate in California: Role of the Executor

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November 23, 2013 by generationsprobate

Probate is the process of dividing the assets of a deceased person amongst his heirs via a will and directed by an executor. Probate processes differ from state to state, depending on whether or not the state adopts the Uniform Probate Code (UPC) or not. The state of California for one, has its own rules regarding probate.

The Executor

To begin the probate process (when it is necessary), the executor has to take the stand and act as administrator of the will. Generally, the estate owner should have the right to determine the executor in his will. In the absence of this, though, the court may appoint one, or upon agreement of all the legal heirs, a reliable probate attorney. He will then file a petition for probate and notify all interested parties of the will.

Gathering Assets

After securing the blessing of the court, the executor then has to gather and account for all of the assets of the deceased. Other tasks under this include securing a taxpayer ID number for the estate, setting up filing systems, and even setting up an estate bank account.

Estate Guardian

In California, according to the Independent Administration of Estates Acts, the executor can handle most things without the direct consent of the probate court. This includes selling real estate property, paying taxes, and approval or rejection of creditor claims. Moreover, the executor also serves as the guardian of these assets, and being responsible for their maintenance.


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Generations is a Sacramento-based estate and trust law firm, providing quality legal counsel in Estate and Tax Planning, Trust Administration, Probate Administration and Elder Law. The name reflects the firm's position as a devoted ally that helps families and businesses make informed decisions about their futures, from one generation to the next.



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