What is Probate?

     ·  Probate is the legal process that regulates the transfer of assets to heirs & beneficiaries after a person passes away.

     ·  In California, a Trust avoids Probate.

     ·  Probate can occur if a person has a Will or does not have a Will (Intestate).

     ·  We identify the assets, detail the inventory and appraise it.

     ·  We help heirs or beneficiaries throughout United States if a deceased family member or friend was a resident of California or owned real estate in California at the time of death.

Probate Basics

     ·  If the assets in the estate do not total more than $150,000, the estate may not need to go through the standard Probate process.

     ·  If the decedent has a valid Will, the Attorney will help the named Executor lodge it with the court and file a petition for approval to have the court the validity of the Will. Once the court determines that the Will is valid, the court will order the distribution of the estate assets pursuant to the instructions in Will.

     ·  If there is no Will (also known as ‘intestate’), the closest relative(s) will receive the assets according to a statutory distribution schedule after a family or member files a Petition for Probate. The Attorney will speak with the closest relative(s) about the decedent’s property.

     ·  We typically represent the person who is named in the Will to Probate the estate (Executor), or a close family member or friend who petitions the court to be in charge of the process (Administrator). We also represent the people who stand to inherit the assets (beneficiaries). It is important that the rights of potential beneficiaries are protected in cases where there is no Will or Trust.

     ·  A “beneficiary” is a person who is named in a Will to receive the assets.

     ·  An “heir” is a relative who receives assets when there is no Will.

     ·  An “administrator” is a person who petitions and is appointed by the Probate court to be in charge of the process.

     ·  An “executor” is a person who is named in the Will to be in charge of the Probate process.

     ·  The filing fee for a Probate Case is typically about $450.

     ·  The fee to the attorney is a contingency fee based on a statutory formula that is not paid until the Probate Case is closed.

We have handled hundreds of Probate Cases. We have a network of professional contacts that can help heirs or beneficiaries with issues such as the sale of the real property, refinancing existing loans, negotiating with reverse mortgages, stalling foreclosure, and obtaining loans to cover expenses during the probate proceedings.