If you are an executor over a California estate, you may feel pressure to cover all necessary steps, and you may, too, have concerns about whether you are doing everything the job entails correctly. Making mistakes in an executor role can prove extremely costly, and the decisions you make and the steps you do and do not take can have serious and considerable financial and tax implications. At the Law Offices of Roshni T. Desai, we have a firm understanding of the duties required of an executor, and we have helped many people in estate planning roles take necessary steps to protect their loved ones.
As important as understanding the steps you must take as an executor is recognizing what not to do, and one way to help yourself avoid making errors involves studying common mistakes made by others. According to Forbes, one of the single-biggest errors you can make as an executor involves making asset distributions prematurely. Odds are, there are certain liabilities and debts that have to come out of the estate before the rest of it is ready for distribution, and if you pay out high amounts before covering these debts, you can become personally liable for them.
Another common executor error involves failing to property advertise the estate. California has specific laws regarding how you must advertise the estate so that creditors and beneficiaries receive notification, and failing to heed them can land you in serious trouble.
Yet another common error made by executors involves failing to properly close the estate. The process of doing so may involve undergoing a court accounting process to determine whether all distributions have been made, or it may involve filing what is known as a family settlement agreement. More about estate planning is available on our web page.