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5 considerations if you're the executor of an estate

Being the executor of a loved one's estate is no easy task and it's a very big responsibility. These responsibilities could feel overwhelming to the average California resident, especially if you've never served as an executor before.

Consider the following if you've been tasked with being the administrator or executor for a deceased loved one's estate.

5 tips for California executors

Here are five things to consider if you're an executor:

  1. Does the estate have extra funds and assets? It's not uncommon for an estate to be deficient in funds. There may not be enough money to pay for funeral, memorial and other end-of-life costs. Be sure to consider all of these costs when making funeral arrangements to stay within a reasonable and affordable budget.
  2. Create a checking account for the estate. You'll need to take care of different expenses relating to your loved one's estate, and to pay for those, you'll want to have an estate checking account. You will fund the account with money from the estate as it is available to pay for expenses. You can also deposit checks paid to the estate into this account.
  3. Can you receive compensation for being the executor? As the executor of the estate, you often have the legal right to take some compensation for your role if the estate has sufficient capital to pay you. You will want to discuss your plans to take a fee with all beneficiaries so they know beforehand.
  4. Be wise with your money management. As the executor, you have a fiduciary obligation to save money and act in the best interests of the estate to preserve as much wealth as possible for the beneficiaries. If you make unwise or negligent choices you could be personally financially responsible.
  5. Keep detailed records. If you don't keep detailed records, receipts related to expenses, and notes about conversations, you could find yourself in trouble later on down the road. Document what you do, and you won't be in danger of appearing dishonest.

Are you the executor of an estate?

Learn as much as you can about California probate and estate administration law to ensure that you perform your executorship duties as well as possible. You may also want to reach out for professional assistance and guidance as you fulfill this vital and important role.

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