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What Legal Duties Does An Administrator Or An Executor Have?


It is an administrator’s job to gather all of the assets of the estate, pay the debts of the estate, and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with the will or the laws of intestate succession. All of this will occur under the supervision of the probate court in the county where the decedent lived.

How Long Does The Inheritance Process Actually Take?

If the inheritance process is done through a probate or court-supervised process in Los Angeles County, then it will take on average 18 months. In theory, it should only take about 10 months, but due to the fact that the courts are busy and that it can be difficult to get hearing dates, it usually takes longer.

Which Creditors Must Be Paid?

If there are assets in the estate, then any valid debt of the estate must be paid. As long as there are more assets than debts in the estate, all creditors will be paid. If there are more debts than assets, then all creditors will receive a prorated payment for the debt, and there will be no distributions to any beneficiaries.

What Happens To A Business Owned By The Deceased?

A business that is owned by an individual who has deceased will be treated like any other asset of the estate. If assets aside from the business are sufficient to cover all existing debts, then the business will be distributed to the beneficiaries, who could choose to retain or sell it. The administrator could also sell the business during probate, just as they could sell the family home.

As The Executor, Am I Entitled To Anything From The Estate?

According to the statute in California, the executor or administrator of an estate is entitled to a percentage of the value of that estate. The more the estate is worth, the lower percentage the administrator gets, and it’s the same amount as the estate’s attorney will receive.

I Am The Main Beneficiary Of A Will That Doesn’t Name Any Executors. What Should I Do?

If someone is the main beneficiary of a will that doesn’t name any executors, then they can petition the court to be named as the administrator of the estate. As a beneficiary under the will, a person is entitled to be appointed as the administrator or to nominate someone else to serve as the administrator for them.

My Mother Has Died But I Can’t Find A Will. What Should I Do?

If an individual’s parent dies and they believe there is no will, then they can file a probate, allege in the petition that there was no will, and seek to have themselves or their nominee appointed as the administrator of the estate. If someone else has a copy of the will and they come forward with it, then the court will simply substitute that will for the estate rather than follow the intestate rules that would otherwise apply.

A Relative Has Died Without Leaving a Will. Will I Inherit Anything?

If someone’s relative has died without leaving a will, a relative may or may not inherit assets; it will depend upon how closely that relative is related to the decedent. Intestate succession and distributions without a will generally go to the closest family members, such as spouses and children. If there are no spouses or children, then the assets would go to the grandchildren. If there are no grandchildren, then the assets would go to the parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, etc.

Who Are The Legal Heirs In A Blended Family?

The identity of legal heirs in a blended family will vary depending on the assets that the estate holds. If the estate holds no real estate, then there may be a distribution of non-real estate assets to the children if the spouses died within five years of each other. If there is separate property belonging to the spouse who dies first, then that property would be distributed between the surviving spouse and the deceased spouse’s children. Situations involving blended families can be very difficult, and they almost never end up the way the spouses would have wanted. This is why it is so strongly recommended that people with blended families create an estate plan so that their wishes are followed.

For more information on Duties Of An Administrator Or Executor, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (626) 385-6303 today.

Newell & Havens Attorney At Law

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