Law Offices of Roshni T. Desai
Long-term Planning For Orange County

probate & estate administration Archives

Tough probate questions do not wait

The holiday season is a special time of year in California. Families get together, friends celebrate and workers across the state get some much-needed time off. However, as much as you may want to enjoy your holidays and expect them to be happy, not everything happens on a regular schedule.

Which of your assets are subject to probate?

Probate is the legal process where the will of a deceased person is validated and assets are passed on to living beneficiaries. This process also satisfies the debts and taxes of the deceased through an executor. Proceeds from life insurance, bank accounts that are payable at the time of death, certain retirement accounts and real estate ownership accounts will go directly to beneficiaries and do not go through probate. All other property from the deceased will be included in the probate estate.

Dealing with debt: What executors should know

Death can be expected and planned for, or a sudden surprise leaving loved ones struggling with the deceased’s financial affairs. Whatever the case may be, there are often a number of financial issues that may arise once a loved one passes. As an estate executor, you may have been named in the will or appointed by a court to oversee affairs involving the estate. You are responsible for ensuring any remaining debts and expenses owed by the deceased are repaid using the value of the estate. While it is critical that some expenses must be paid, there are others that you are not required to pay at all.

Probate 101: What you need to know

If you have recently lost a friend or loved one, you may be dealing with a host of emotions. It can be difficult to make critical decisions during such a hard time, especially when it comes to dealing with the final matters of the deceased’s estate. In some cases, the estate may enter into the probate process in California, which could add to the complexity of the situation. Probate is designed to ensure the validity of the will, if one was left behind, and to aid in the distribution of the property to beneficiaries.

What assets do estate administrators deal with?

As someone dealing with matters of the estate in California, you will simultaneously be dealing with someone else's assets. But what exactly are the assets you're meant to handle? How do you know what is or isn't an asset, and how do you distribute said assets?

What are oral and deathbed wills?

As we have discussed in recent posts, your will planning can be more complex than the straightforward end-of-life wishes you may be accustomed to hearing about. There are some types of wills that can be upheld in California probate court but may still not be a good idea because they can be easily contested.

Responsibilities of being executor of a will

California residents who are being proactive about their estate planning and wanting to create or update their will may want to give careful consideration to who they will select to be the executor and even the backup executor of their estate. It might seem logical for one spouse to name the other or for a surviving spouse to name an adult child who happens to live near them but these may not necessarily be the best choices. It is very important that the person selected to be the executor actually be capable of carrying out all of the tasks involved in the job.

What responsibilities does an executor have?

As an executor in the state of California, you'll likely need to go through the process of probate. This can be a complex and tricky procedure for anyone who hasn't experienced it once before. The Law Offices of Roshni T. Desai are here to help you through the entire process and explain exactly what you, as the executor, need to know.