The court will execute the terms of the deceased's will at the time of death. To do this, the assets are distributed to the beneficiaries and all debts are repaid. Before the hearing, the newspaper that published the public notice of the death draws up an affidavit of public notification. In probate cases, the court works with an executor appointed by the testator's will.
The executor, or personal representative, can complete the probate process without hiring a probate attorney regardless of the type of probate. Even if the decedent died without a will, the court has the legal authority to distribute the estate's assets in accordance with California statutes. An initial court hearing will be for a probate judge in charge of overseeing all probate cases in your jurisdiction. Once the hearing is over and the executor has been appointed, they must begin to carry out their duties.
They will find and appraise all assets, pay creditors, and file taxes. They may have to liquidate some assets or transfer ownership to heirs. The judge will decide if all the deadline requirements have been met. The judge will also verify that the personal representative has performed all of his duties correctly and that he has paid all known creditors and taxes.
If the judge is satisfied, he will sign and issue the final order to close the estate and make distributions to the heirs. Once this happens, the executor can distribute all remaining assets to the beneficiaries and the estate will be closed. The personal representative or executor will provide details of everything they did. The judge will review your actions to ensure that each item is in order and that the executor has performed his duties properly and on time.
They will verify that taxes are paid, debts are settled and that the will is fully enforced. If the judge is satisfied, he will issue the final order. Finally, the judge will close the estate and sign the distribution order. At this point, any beneficiary can receive the money and assets that the decedent allocated to them. After that, the responsibility of the executor is over.
The first hearing may continue if the court needs more information or if there is a dispute over who should be the executor. Many people often assume that they need to hire an attorney to legalize a will or manage an estate in California. The granting of the inheritance, which allows the executor to carry out his duties, is usually necessary to continue the process. It is a set of court-supervised measures that ensure that any money or property that remains is properly distributed. If the person is accepted as a personal representative, the court will issue testamentary letters, which basically state that they have the authority to act on behalf of the estate.
Another task of the court is to judge appeals filed by creditors or heirs regarding their rights to the inheritance. Usually, the judge will explicitly state the responsibilities of the personal representative at the initial probate court hearing. Items that are not subject to probate legalization include retirement accounts, life insurance policies, brokerage accounts, pension plans, and joint tenancy assets. A number of legal guides and resources are available at local law libraries to help you, as a probate administrator, understand different stages of succession and timelines of succession. Depending on situation and state, court may require that executor have bond to cover any negligence issues in order to prevent loss of estate.
For example, in case of controversial issues, probate court judge will resolve disputes and address challenges through formal probate process. Finally, as legal representative of estate you can also contact local court for information related to standard probate forms and deadlines for filing inheritance.