The death of a loved one is a life-changing event for surviving family members. It can be a challenging experience for a number of reasons, and the executor of the estate will likely have many challenges to face in addition to handling his or her personal feelings. Settling a California estate takes a lot of work, and the executor will need to pay close attention to estate assets in particular.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to protect the assets of an estate. Some family members may think they can simply take what they want without waiting for formal probate proceedings to end, and if items go missing, serious issues could arise. As a result, the executor needs to ensure that the assets are protected, which could include changing the locks on a home or other storage area and inventorying the assets to make sure everything is accounted for.
The executor may also need to go through the process of marshaling the assets. This task involves finding all of the decedent’s assets, which can sometimes take years if the estate is particularly complex. Some people may take extra steps to protect specific items, like placing them in safety deposit boxes, or assets may have been loaned to loved ones with the intention of getting them back. Without specific record of where assets are kept or to whom they have been loaned, marshaling assets can be difficult.
Most executors want to do their best when it comes to settling their loved one’s final affairs. Of course, probate is not an easy task to complete, and protecting and finding estate assets can be immensely difficult. Fortunately, California residents who take on this role can enlist the help of experienced attorneys who could guide them throughout the process.