Probate in California is a court-supervised procedure that helps to ensure the legal transfer of assets from the deceased to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries. Probate is necessary to:
- Prove the validity of the will
- Appoint someone to manage the estate (The “administrator” if there is no will or the “executor” if there is one)
- Inventory and appraise the estate property
- Pay any debts or taxes (including estate taxes)
- Distribute the property as directed by the will—or according to state law if there is no will
In California, if someone has $166,250 in total assets or real property valued over $55,425, they will probably have to have their assets probated.
What’s so bad about probate in California…and what should I do next?
Many residents in Placer County have heard that probate is bad news. It tends to be very expensive, time-consuming, and the process is open to public records…which means that anyone in the community can have access to this information.
The easiest way to avoid the probate process is to have a plan in place; and that is where we can help you avoid the expensive, public process of probate. If, however, you find yourself in a situation now where you must go through probate courts to finalize the estate of a loved one, the best thing you can do now is educate yourself on how to complete the process as quickly, and cost-effectively, as possible.
You don’t have to use the attorney who prepared the Will either! Just because a particular attorney prepared the Will, this does not mean that attorney must handle the probate, nor are they necessarily the right person for the job. You need to be comfortable with the attorney and confident that they are the right attorney for you. Choosing your probate or trust lawyer is one of the most important decisions you will make. If you put in the time and effort to find the right lawyer, you will be rewarded with a skillful guide who will help you navigate the probate process.
At Your Property Law Firm, we can help you through this process with compassion. The passing of a loved one is never easy. The last thing many people want to deal with is a lengthy court process. Please contact us for a complimentary consultation to help you determine the next best steps. You are not required to use the attorney who prepared the original will. Choose someone you feel comfortable with during this difficult time. We are here to make this process as easy as possible for you.