Probate

A “probate” is the legal process of transferring one’s property at death. The probate court determines whether a decedents Will is legally valid, their debts are paid and assets are distributed according to the desires expressed in the Will. If a person dies without a Will or other testamentary document, the probate laws of the State of California decide how the assets are distributed.

Our firm handles all types of probate administrations. We represent executors, administrators, creditors and beneficiaries, depending on the clients needs and desires.

While it is not necessarily a pleasant experience, it is greatly misunderstood and is not as horrible as frequently portrayed. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, the problems of probate can by eased and often eliminated. Bear in mind, the average probate takes anywhere from 9 months to several years in California, depending on the size and complexity of the estate and the family dynamics.

If the value of an estate is under $100,000, a probate will generally not be required. Instead, there is an informal affidavit procedure by which assets can be transferred. Also, not all assets have to go through probate. Several forms of assets contain provisions for beneficiaries and are transferable without any formal proceedings. These assets include life insurance, property held in joint tenancy, IRAs, trusts and pensions.