To be asked to be the personal representative of an estate in Los Angeles is an awesome responsibility. Those who assume it agree to represent the best interests of not only the testator, but also his or her beneficiaries. The job might seem as first glance to be quite complex, yet there are several resources to help personal representatives clearly understand their duties.
The Superior Court of California has made the details of those responsibilities available for easy reference. They include:
- Managing an estate's assets
- Inventory and catalog all estate property
- Work with creditors of the estate
- Maintain insurance on estate property
- Record all actions pertaining to the estate
Even with such clear direction, many may feel overwhelmed at the thought of acting as a personal representative due to their relative lack of knowledge of the law. For this reason, many may choose to name financial or legal professionals (or acquaintances who possess similar knowledge) as their personal representatives.
Those selected to be personal representative can almost be assured that people who are party to an estate will be scrutinizing their actions. These individuals or organizations will likely have an interest in the estate's assets or property, and thus want to be sure that it is managed correctly. If they believe a personal representative is failing in his or her duties, they may petition for him or her to be removed from the role.
Per the California Probate Code, common reasons for the removal of personal representative may include wasting, embezzling or committing fraud against estate assets, neglecting his or her duties, being deemed incapable or properly executing the duties of the office, or any recognized need to do so in order to protect the estate or those with interests in it.