We extend our deepest condolences for the recent loss of your loved one. During this difficult time of mourning and celebrating their life with family, dealing with complex legal matters is likely the last thing you feel up to. However, if their estate was left in disarray when they passed and the assets and property they owned must go through probate, this may very well be your reality.
Probate, especially in California, can be a long, expensive, and stressful ordeal. There is an immense amount of paperwork to contend with, as well as consistent communication with the court. If you’re the executor or personal representative, it is in your best interest to allow our skilled Pasadena probate lawyer to navigate you through the process. With our firm on your side, you will have peace of mind that everything is being handled in a timely manner and in accordance with the law.
Call Hayes Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation, where we can answer your questions, address your concerns, and start you on the path to a successful resolution.
What Is Probate And Why Is It Necessary?
While probate often has a bit of a negative reputation, it’s crucial to understand that it’s not some form of punishment for any wrongdoing on your loved one’s part. They might not have realized how crucial it was to take the time to create a solid estate plan, or maybe they just ran out of time to do so. As a result, probate becomes a necessary step in which a court must oversee the division and distribution of the money, property, and other assets owned by the estate, to ensure that the terms of the will are carried out (or if there was no will, that the laws of intestate succession are followed). Without probate, there would be a free-for-all, and anyone could lay claim to your loved one’s hard-earned life savings – imagine the chaos that could ensue!
In some cases, procedural alternatives and shortcuts may be able to be utilized in place of probate – such as spousal property petitions, small-value estate declarations, and/or trust property petitions under Probate Code 850 – which can save you a significant amount of money and time. Our knowledgeable Pasadena probate lawyer will be able to provide a more clear and definite answer after reviewing your specific case details.
How Does Probate Work In California?
The foundation for probate is established when an individual dies with or without a written will. If there is a will, an executor is appointed, but without a will, an administrator is appointed, and these two perform essentially the same tasks.
Next, the administrator or executor will begin to manage the assets owned by the estate, as well as the deceased’s property. They must notify banks, employers, and others of the recent death, ensure that utilities have been turned off, seal the residence, and more. Then, the petition for probate must be prepared.
Once probate is opened, the executor or administrator must:
- Give legal notice to creditors, beneficiaries, and the public
- Collect, protect, and inventory assets
- Have assets appraised
- Settle debts with creditors
- File final tax returns
- Pay taxes (including the inheritance tax)
- Prepare a financial accounting
- Distribute assets to beneficiaries
- Close the estate
- And more.
The obligations of probate are highly burdensome, especially for those who are still in mourning, trying to move forward, and handling their own day-to-day responsibilities. Working with our Pasadena probate lawyer can significantly minimize this strain and give you peace of mind that each step is being handled correctly.
How Can Working With A Pasadena Probate Lawyer Give Me An Advantage?
Our lead attorney, William Hayes, has over 40 years of legal experience and a reputation for exceptional service and dedication to clients. We have the knowledge and resources to get you through probate as quickly and affordably as possible. Call today to schedule your free consultation and learn more about the benefits of working with our adept Pasadena probate lawyer.