Duties of the Personal Representative
Legal Responsibilities of an Administrator or Executor in California
- Determine which assets (if any) will be subject to probate
- Locate and manage the assets of the loved one who has passed. This may involve decisions regarding the sale of real estate and other investments owned by the decedent (person who has passed).
- Receive and account for payments owed to the estate such as unpaid salary, dividends, or other debts
- Open an estate checking account in order to hold money that is owed to the estate (previously owed to decedent)
- Identify beneficiaries listed in the will, and thoroughly understand the terms of distribution. When no Will exists, the administrator follows intestate succession to determine who to distribute assets to.
- Obtain an appraisal for the estate's assets
- Legally notice creditors and potential creditors of the probate, as well as deadlines for creditors to file claims
- Determine the validity of all estate claims made
- Pay valid claims and bills such as funeral home expenses
- Pay ongoing expenses such as mortgage and utilities
- Attend to day-to-day tasks such as cancelling credit cards and bank accounts, notifying govt. agencies such as Social Security and the USPS.
- File and pay income and estate taxes
- Once approved by the court, distribute property and assets to individuals and/or organizations named in the Will, or to heirs if no Will exists.
- File receipts for distribution and attend to any other duties to close the estate.