The executor is the individual chosen either through the guidance of the deceased’s wishes in a will, by the court, or through other means. Without a will, the court will have to assign an individual that they think is appropriate to manage and distribute the estate to the beneficiaries. Choosing an executor is a critical part of probate.
The executor must oversee and catalog everything that belongs to the estate and work with the valuation process. They will also contact all the beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors of the estate, distributing it to the necessary individuals.
The executor will need to ensure that all property and assets are protected and safe until the entire estate is gone. Because the death certificate is used for many steps in the probate process, many copies of it should be ordered.
Any tangible valuables, such as jewelry or expensive items, and critical documents, such as the will, should be locked up and kept in a safe. For itemizing and valuation, property needs to be categorized into real and personal property. Real property is tangible property that sits on land and can be used for agricultural, industrial, residential, commercial, or other purposes. Personal property includes assets, stocks, and debts.
If any final debts need to be settled, the executor will pay them or carry out any final obligations. According to California law, creditors have four months after the death of an individual to declare that they still owe a particular debt.
When the estate no longer exists, the executor no longer has roles or responsibilities that need to be carried out.
The valuation of a decedent’s assets and property, and the disbursement of them to designated beneficiaries, are managed by the entire probate process. However, in some cases, the entire existing estate might not need to go through the probate process.
The assets and property transferred directly after an individual’s death do not undergo probate. The following aspects of an individual’s estate that might avoid probate are:
- Payouts from life insurance.
- Financial accounts and securities, with a pre-programmed post-death immediate transfer.
- Any piece of the estate that is funneled into a living trust.
- Unused funds from a pension or retirement account.
- Machinery (such as boats or cars) or land or property with a transfer-on-death provision.
- Property previously owned with the deceased, with a right of survivorship agreement.
Intestacy is a word describing the lack of a testament. If there is no will or testament provided by the deceased individual in Corona, the estate is divided up according to the intestacy laws in California. These laws determine the order in which family members will receive the estate.