If a will nominated you to serve as an executor, it is important to contact a seasoned probate attorney to assist you. There are many rules and procedures that must be followed or you can get yourself into a big mess. Below are the top five mistakes that are commonly made in California probate cases:

  • Waiting too long to open the probate. Generally, the will should be filed with the probate court within 30 days of the testator’s death. The longer it takes to file the will, the more issues that can arise, including improper distribution of assets. Additionally, if you wait too long to submit the will for probate, it could decrease your chances of being appointed as the executor of the estate.
  • Failing to give proper notice. Beneficiaries and interested parties, including creditors of the estate, must be given notice of the probate action. Failure to provide proper notice to a required party can cause significant delays in the probate process.
  • Failing to cancel the bond in time. A probate bond may be required (or it may be waived by the will) to protect a California estate in the event the personal representative acts inappropriately or mismanages the estate assets. It is important to timely cancel the bond or it will end up costing you more than is necessary.
  • Failing to keep accurate financial records for the final accounting. The final accounting must be supported by accurate financial records, or it is likely to be rejected. To learn more, please read our blogs titled “Mistakes Personal Representatives Make When Closing a Probate” and Tips to Ensure Your Trust Accounting is Approved.”
  • Failing to hold sufficient reserves for final expenses. It is important to make sure all expenses can be adequately paid when closing the probate. You must request the establishment of sufficient closing reserves for unpaid or contingent tax liability, creditors’ claims and closing costs (including costs to record the final judgment).

To avoid making any of the above mistakes and to ensure you handle the probate matter as effectively and efficiently as possible, contact The Legacy Lawyers. We will carefully walk with you every step of the way. You will never be left wondering what to do next. Plus we are here to answer your questions at no additional charge. Start today by calling to schedule your no-cost consultation: (714) 963-7543.