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What is an Executor of an Estate? What are the Responsibilities?
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Executor of Estate

Duties and Responsibilities

It takes time, skill, and effort to serve as an executor of an estate efficiently. Failure to strictly adhere to probate laws can result in personal liability. You can avoid risks and speed up the process by working with an experienced probate attorney. Call California’s leading estate attorney Hess-Verdon at (949) 706-7300.

Who is an Executor of Estate?

When someone passes away, the executor of their estate is the person that takes care of their affairs and last wishes as detailed in the will. The executor’s responsibilities are to account for all assets and transfer them to the appropriate parties (heirs). The term asset denotes homes, businesses, stocks, bonds, art, and personal effects like jewelry, among other things. Learn what types of assets are subject to probate.

Learn more what an executor can and cannot do.

The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) issues that an estate can be valued based on the deceased’s date of death or alternate valuation date. The executor also pays off all debts owed by the deceased and oversights daily maintenance of the estate until handover to inheritors. 

A decedent who does not leave a will is said to have died “intestate.” If the decedent died intestate or did not name an executor, the court must appoint one. A court-appointed executor of the estate is called the administrator or personal representative. 

How to File for Executor of Estate without Will

Follow the below steps if you want to become an executor without a will. 

  • Determine if you qualify for the position

The first candidates for consideration for the position of executor typically include the deceased’s spouse or child. The second priority is to those who qualify to inherit from the estate via intestacy laws, and lastly, creditors. If you are not a surviving child or spouse of the deceased, you will need to obtain their waivers before applying for the position. 

  • Get other candidates to write you a waiver.

To be appointed as administrator, you must receive written approval from other candidates. The deceased’s spouse and children may have to give you a written waiver, for example, if you are the deceased’s brother. 

  • Get filing requirement’s from the court in the county of residence of the deceased.

Probate will take place in the county of residence of the deceased in most states. For more information about filing requirements and timelines, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Hess-Verdon & Associates at 949-706-7300. 

  • Fill and submit the petition for administration.

You need to gather certain information before submitting the petition for administration. The following documents may be required: 

  • The deceased’s death certificate
  • Your photo ID
  • An estimate of the estate
  • Addresses and names of all remaining relatives of the deceased 

File the petition at the county court where the deceased was a resident at the time of their death. There may be a filing fee. 

  • Receive the court’s appointment to administer the estate

The court will appoint you as estate administrator if you provide all of the required information. Your work on the estate can begin once the court issues the green light. Learn about California probate fees

Before administering any of the estate’s assets, the executor must make sure the estate’s debts are settled. Make sure you learn and follow the intestacy laws in your state. Intestacy laws differ between states, including the amount of money that an executor receives.  Also please not when an executor is not communicating with beneficiaries


Executor of an Estate. Best Options!

Hess-Verdon is in Newport Beach. We have 30 years’ experience in estate planning law. We have helped many clients protect their estate, grow their estate, and pass it down to their loved ones through various legal instruments.

Our estate lawyers can help you administer or contest a Trust or Will. Expect personalized services that put you in control.

How to Become Executor of Estate 

  • Understand your responsibilities

Generally speaking, the complexity of the job largely depends on the kind of estate you are administering. When the estate is simple, the settlement should be relatively straightforward. 

Generally, executors are responsible for the following: 

· Organizing the funeral 

· Estimating the value of an estate 

· Paying estate tax 

· Probate applications 

· Resolving the deceased’s financial issues 

· Placement of a notice of deceased estate 

· Divvying up the estate 

· Maintaining estate accounts 

A more complex estate, however, may involve many other responsibilities, including inheritance dispute resolution. Before applying for the role of administrator, make sure that you are aware of the duties. 

  • Request time off work

Estate administration is very time-consuming and requires a great deal of attention to detail – the details are often the sole focus of the process.

You should make sure that you have enough time for the job before agreeing to be executor. It may be tricky to find the time to do everything if your professional life is hectic or you have many family obligations.  Learn about how to choose a probate lawyer and how they can help!

In addition, it may be necessary to travel to the testator’s home state to handle the paperwork and other matters if you do not live near the testator or move out of state. Typically, working with a white-glove probate attorney lessens your responsibilities and saves you time.   It’s also essential to keep communication with the beneficiaries.

  • Review executor fees

Some laws govern how executors are paid in each state. You may be able to charge a flat fee, an hourly rate, or a percentage. The probate judge sometimes decides the fee. 

You can charge extra fees for additional work, such as the sale of real estate or the handling of probate litigation for the estate. Before you take on the mantle, ensure that you are clear about your salary. 

If you’ll be serving as an executor for an extended period and this will interfere with your regular employment, you’ll likely want to get a sense of what you will be paid for doing so. Taxpayers are required to report income from these payments. 

  • Apply for permission to administer the estate

Once you understand and are okay with your responsibilities, probate laws, and payment terms, you can file the petition to be an executor. The probate court will need to receive your petition once your preparations are complete. If the deceased lived in a particular county when they died, the probate court in that county would most likely handle the matter.  Note: All assets need to be inventoried and controlled to eliminate stealing.

Depending on the court, the petition may differ slightly. However, you will typically have to include details such as the deceased’s name and bio, death of date, last address, estimation of estate value, and names and addresses of all surviving relatives. 

Upon completion of the petition and approval from the court, you will become the administrator. For legal assistance in the entire process, call Hess-Verdon probate attorneys at (949) 706-7300.

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Executor Of Estate - Responsibilities - Duties Of Executor!

Probate Overview

Are you looking for a probate attorney in the Newport Beach area? When it comes to the practice of trust and estates, it can be difficult finding an attorney that’s experienced in Executor Of Estate - Responsibilities - Duties Of Executor! handling your specific issues.

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Executor Of Estate - Responsibilities - Duties Of Executor!

Probate Attorney Questions

Are you looking for a probate lawyer in the Orange County area? When it comes to the practice of Trust and estates, it can be difficult finding an attorney that’s experienced in 

Executor Of Estate - Responsibilities - Duties Of Executor! handling your specific issues.

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What is Probate

To understand what probate litigation is, one first has to understand what is “probate.” When a loved one dies, i.e., the decedent leaves behind their property, jewelry, bank accounts, etc., i.e., the decedent’s estate. The decedent’s estate should be transferred to family members (beneficiaries) and heirs after all taxes, debts, etc. are paid out.

Choosing the Right Probate Law firm is Paramount

When you are looking for an Orange County Probate Attorney. Hess-Verdon & Associates is one of the most reliable and most sophisticated trusts and estate law firm in the state of California at both the trial and appellate levels. 

Our probate litigation team has spent years acquiring extensive experience in trial preparation, strategy, and trial presentation to help you with your specific case.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs, our qualifications, staffing approaches, and rate structures with a view toward the successful resolution of Estate, Trust, and Probate-related problems.

Executor Of Estate - Responsibilities - Duties Of Executor!

“I have been working with this firm since 1994; you can’t beat a firm like this, that is so ethical and competent.”

Dixie Fisher

Client Since 1994

Executor Of Estate - Responsibilities - Duties Of Executor!

“We’ve always felt comfortable sharing our concerns with Hess-Verdon & Associates and have felt confident that the job was well done and the concerns answered.”

Malou Cole

Client Since 2006