As executor of my recently deceased stepfather’s estate, what do I do now?

I’m the executor along with his daughter named on the living Will and Trust papers. I am also the benificiary of a life insurance policy he got to pay for any odds and ends that may occur other than everything he has already paid for. I am not sure what to do next, except I know I need the death certificates for any further action.

Asked on February 14, 2016 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First of all, the custodian of the Will (i.e. the person who has the Will at the time of the testator's death) must within 30 days of the death, take the Will to the probate court clerk’s office within 30 days and send a copy of the Will to the executor.
Here is a link to a site that will explain what to do next:
http://www.courts.ca.gov/8865.htm
And know that depending on the type of assets in the estate and their value,  probate may not be needed at all. Again, refer to the above site.


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