Find a Probate Attorney in Orange County
Nobody voluntarily chooses probate. People are too busy or preoccupied with health or other issues to plan. They pass away without a living trust and their heirs—-usually their children—- find that they can’t sell Mom or Dad’s house without a court order or can’t transfer Mom or Dad’s bank account without court approval. Even with a will, they may be forced to file a probate proceeding.
Because probate is expensive and time consuming, a responsible attorney first tries to determine if there is an alternative to probate. In California, the most common alternatives to probate are a Spousal Property Petition (if there is a surviving spouse) or a small estate transfer (if the value of the estate is less than $100,000). If these and other alternatives to probate are unavailable, then the only recourse for the decedent’s heirs is to file a probate proceeding.
Attorney’s fees and costs are set by law in California and are based upon the value of the estate. Here is the statutory fee schedule in California:
4% of the first $100,000
3% of the next $100,000
2% of the next $800,000
1% of the next $9,000,000
Probate is the official process where a departed individual’s possessions will be allotted to beneficiaries. Even though probate is generally a extended and strenuous endeavor, it is easy to grasp the principles for it. These are the basic principles of probate, and what you should expect.
The judge decides on or authorizes a ‘personal representative’ to regulate all matters of the loved one’s estate. Otherwise known as an executor or administrator, the representative presents to the court the deceased party’s Will, should there be one, accompanied by a processing fee. This commences the probate process, the next phase of which will be the notification of debt collectors. Virtually all debts and financial commitments have to be outlined and considered. Soon after this is achieved, collectors possess a period of time to state any demands with regards to property or unpaid sums.
The representative is additionally in charge of producing a precise catalog of the deceased person’s resources, property, and useful items. Meanwhile, no asset can be marketed, gifted or else taken from the estate. The valuable assets have to be evaluated, and evaluation information submitted to the judge. As soon as this catalog is completed, assets are sold off, if need be, to pay all legitimate statements expressed by the lenders. Once the outstanding debts and commitments are resolved, will the probate court permit the remaining property to be spread amongst the heirs or people specified within the Will.
Even though the procedures of probate itself seem to be easy, building the inventory is usually a time-consuming job, and frequently proves emotionally charged for the people concerned. Probate hands the power to the court, and very little may be accomplished before case is completed. To complicate matters further, an unhappy heir can raise a grievance in probate court, which could only extend the case. When the pick of personal representative could be decided beforehand, and the court approves it, it’s wise to choose an individual who’ll have every person’s needs equally at heart. It’s recommended that the administrator seeks legal counsel, as the regulations and sheer quantity of paperwork involved with a probate matter can quickly turn out to be difficult.