The Elder and Disability Law Firm, APC Oct. 4, 2017

California residents who are named as executors of estates will have multiple duties to perform. They should take the time that they need to make certain that they appropriately administer the estates for which they are responsible. If they make errors, they may be personally liable to the beneficiaries.

Estate executors are responsible for making the burial and funeral arrangements. Those costs will be paid out of the estates. The funeral homes will then ask how many death certificate copies will be needed. The executors will be responsible for notifying the banks, investment firms, life insurance companies, the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Social Security Administration about the deaths along with others. If the decedents received Social Security benefits, it is important for the executors to contact the SSA immediately to end the payments so that they don't have to be repaid.

An executor will need to locate the trust and will of the decedent. After locating the documents, the executor might then want to talk to a lawyer to help avoid making costly mistakes. If the estate will be probated, the executor must file the will with the court to have it validated. The court will then issue letters testamentary, which give the executor the power to act on the estate's behalf.

Serving as an executor can be complicated. In order to make certain that they do the job correctly, people who are named as executors might benefit by getting help from experienced estate administration and probate lawyers who can assist them with answering questions that are posed by beneficiaries. They may help the process go faster and more smoothly so that the assets can be distributed according to the decedent's wishes.

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