Probate Law

Probate Law

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process of determining the value and transferring the title of assets and property from the deceased to his or her beneficiaries. Probate is the process of determining who the rightful and legal beneficiaries are of a deceased person's estate. If there is a valid will, the probate process will verify the legal beneficiaries before assets are distributed. If there is no will, the probate court will determine who the legal beneficiaries are. The probate court will also appoint someone to distribute the assets and properties, pay creditors, and receive claims.

Probate court can be a costly and lengthy process. Often times probate can take one to two years. The fees are set by California's Probate Code. Many factors can influence the length of the process, including the size of the estate, where it takes place, debts or creditors involved, disputes from the beneficiaries or objections to the will. If there is no will, the probate process becomes even more challenging. The state will be the one deciding who the beneficiaries are and what assets they will receive. If any assets are in a living trust, they are considered exempt from going through the probate process.

Probate and Estate Administration Lawyers

Most people try to avoid going through probate because it can be so costly, time consuming and stressful. It can cause emotions to run high and disputes or arguments to occur amongst family members. This is why it is important to talk to a probate lawyer. An experienced attorney can help ensure no mistakes are made through this formal procedure, and can help you keep probate costs down. A probate lawyer can ensure the six basic steps of the California Probate process are completed :

  • Validation of the Will (if there is a will)
  • Appoint an Executor to manage and distribute the assets and debts
  • Inventory the estate and assets
  • Pay claims and debts owed by the estate
  • Pay estate taxes
  • Distribute the remaining assets and value

You may be able to go through a simplified probate procedure if there are no debts against the estate. A probate lawyer will advise you on the best course of action to take according to your particular situation.

Lawyer Referral Service

It is recommended that you seek the counsel of a probate lawyer if you will have to go through the probate process after a loved one dies. Attorney Search Network can refer you to a professional Wills and Estate Planning lawyer with experience in probate.

If you have any questions about the information provided above, please contact us. Call Attorney Search Network toll free at (800) 215-1190 or fill out out online form for your Probate lawyer referral.


If you have any questions about the information provided above, please contact Attorney Search Network.

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