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estate administration & probate Archives

Estate administration in California

The legal issues involved in administering an estate generally include making a list of the deceased individual's assets, paying their outstanding debts and then distributing any remaining assets to heirs or beneficiaries. During the probate process, the court appoints an individual to take care of these tasks. If the deceased individual had a last will and testament, this person is known as an executor. If the estate owner dies intestate, the court appoints an administrator.

John Singleton's family fighting over $35 million estate

California readers may have heard that director John Singleton died of a stroke in Los Angeles on April 28. Apparently, he had an outdated will, which means there could be conflict over his estimated $35 million estate.

A musician's estate remains open after three years

The estate of a famous singer and songwriter demonstrates why those who have accumulated wealth should engage in an estate plan. Those in California and elsewhere can pay heed to the plight of a multi-million-dollar estate.

Account for passwords in an estate plan

It is generally more convenient for California residents to receive bank statements and other documents electronically. Unfortunately, electronic records could also make estate planning more complex for both the plan creator and estate executor. This is because most bank and other accounts require a password to access them. Passwords may also be needed to get into the smartphone or computer that information is stored on.

Heirs of Prince want Comerica removed as estate administrator

As California fans of Prince continue to mourn his death, his heirs have petitioned a court to reduce Comerica Bank & Trust's role as estate administrator. The late singer and songwriter's siblings claim in their legal filings that Comerica has collected $10 million in fees from the estate while spending $45 million on probate expenses. Additionally, the estate still owes $31 million in federal and state estate taxes. As time passes, interest increases the tax bill.

How to be an executor of a will

Successfully carrying out the task of closing a deceased family member's estate may require an executor to probate the will, secure assets, notify beneficiaries and more. California residents who have done this job have benefited from working with attorneys, accountants and financial and insurance advisors. Unfortunately, executors often make mistakes that can easily be avoided by having the right frame of mind and remembering a few basic things.

Estate planning and personal property items

California residents who are developing their estate plans should make sure to address what should happen with their personal items, some of which may be valuable. When doing so, there are some issues they may want to keep in mind.

Overview of gross estate and federal estate tax exemption

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act significantly raised the federal estate tax exemption. For the executor of an estate in California to know if an estate has exceeded this exemption, the person must calculate the gross estate of the decedent. Estates with values above the exemption will need to complete form 706 for the Internal Revenue Service. If any estate taxes are owed, they must be paid no later than nine months after the person's date of death.

Understanding estate taxes after a person's death

After people pass away in California, there are still a number of tax tasks and obligations related to their estate, which includes all of the assets owned by a person at the time of death. This includes real estate, bank accounts, securities, overseas properties and even gifts made during a person's lifetime. In addition, there are other types of property that are also considered to be part of a person's estate, even if their ownership structure is more complicated. These include annuities, some types of life insurance proceeds, jointly held property with a right of survivorship and property that the person can control even without ownership.

Handling probate and estate administration duties

If you have recently lost a loved one and have been named to serve as the administrator, personal representative or executor of their estate, you will have to deal with many different issues. Probate administration can be complex and may require you to complete a number of different tasks.

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