Settling An Estate In California
The following article will cover:
- An overview of the process for trust administration in California.
- The timeframe for settling an estate in California, which varies depending on the complexity of assets and specific procedures involved.
- Encouragement for trustees to make partial distributions of easily liquidated assets while waiting to resolve more complex estate matters.
How Long Does An Administrator Have To Settle An Estate In California?
In California, the timeline for settling an estate varies depending on the complexity of the assets and the specific procedures involved. Here is a general overview of the process for trust administration:
- Obtaining the death certificate: It usually takes a couple of weeks to receive the death certificate, which is required to begin the administration process.
- Notice to heirs and beneficiaries: Once the administration process starts, the trustee must send a notice to all heirs and beneficiaries informing them of the decedent’s passing and the trust’s irrevocable status. This notice has a 120-day period during which beneficiaries can contest the trust contents. This timeframe can be shortened if a copy of the trust is included with the notice.
- Estate administration: After sending the notice, the trustee can begin administering the estate, which may involve clearing the house, selling personal items, donating appropriate items, appraising assets, and listing real estate for sale.
- Accounting: After the 120-day period (or shorter period, if applicable), the trustee prepares and sends an accounting to the beneficiaries. This document provides a snapshot of the estate’s assets, date of death values, current values, expenses, and proposed distributions.
- Objections to accounting: Beneficiaries have 180 days to object to the accounting from the day they receive it.
Considering these timeframes, a typical trust administration in California can take up to a year. However, more complex estates or issues with selling certain assets can extend this timeline. In such cases, trustees are often encouraged to make partial distributions of more easily liquidated assets to beneficiaries while waiting to resolve other matters. For more information on Settling An Estate In The State of California, an initial consultation is your next best step.