The loss of a loved one is one of the most emotionally charged and challenging times in our lives. Grief and healing take precedence in the aftermath, yet legal issues don’t often wait for anyone. If you are seeking to be appointed in charge of your loved one’s estate, you will have
responsibilities and a duties to follow during the probate process that must be executed in a timely and effective manner.
It is not just you who is relying on the probate process to go smoothly. Oftentimes there are other heirs/beneficiaries and creditors involved in the estate as well. Delays or failure to focus on the administrative tasks at hand could impact others, and you, negatively.
At the Alden Law Firm of Los Angeles, we know first-hand just how difficult it can be to juggle grief, emotion, and healing in the wake of losing someone we care about. Let the firm focus on the legal aspect of probate while you focus on yourself and your family.
The Alden Law Firm of Los Angeles brings the experience you need to be effectively guided, advised, and helped to administer a probate case in Los Angeles County or other counties in California.
What is Probate Administration?
After the passing of a family member or loved one, the process of probate administration provides a means for the management and distribution of the deceased person’s assets as provided for in their Will or as dictated by intestate succession under California law in absence of a will.
This process involves, among other aspects, the identification and valuation of the deceased’s assets, determining the deceased’s wishes, and carrying out those wishes as it relates to items in the estate’s inventory. This process is managed and carried out by an “Executor” if appointed in a will, or by an “Administrator” in the absence of a will.
Is Probate Always Required for a Decedent’s Estate?
California law does not always require assets of a decedent to pass through probate. There are many reasons that a deceased’s persons assets can go to a legally entitled heir or beneficiary without the need of a probate. These reasons can include:
- Estate’s valued at less than $166,250
- Whether the decedent was married and the assets in question are characterized as separate or community property
- Whether the property at issue was held in joint tenancy
- Whether the property (or account) had a payment on death beneficiary designated on it
- Whether the property was held in trust
If any of the above reasons apply your loved one’s assets may possibly be able to be transferred using a simplified probate procedure or by not using the court process at all. This analysis can hinge on many things from whether the property is real or personal, and whether the assets are properly calculated in the estate’s valuation amount.
At the Alden Law Firm of Los Angeles, you can receive the assistance you need in determining whether a full-fledged probate is required to transfer the assets of the deceased. This may involve analyzing how title is held to property, determining whether there are any beneficiaries, or figuring out what the legal valuation of the deceased’s estate is. Once this is completed, an effective strategy can be implemented to ensure that you receive the inheritance you are entitled to.
Given the complexity of laws regarding probate, it is advisable that you consult the Alden Law Firm of Los Angeles to assist you with your case. Doing so can save you both time and money.
Is Los Angeles the Proper Place to Open the Probate Estate?
In the event that the decedent died while a resident of Los Angeles County, or owned real property in Los Angeles County while a resident of another state, then Los Angeles is the proper county for administering the decedent’s estate.
If your loved one passed on while a resident of California, or owned real property in California, reach out to the Alden Law Firm of Los Angeles to learn more about what to expect and how to effectively handle your probate case in an efficient way.
What Happens During the Probate Administration Process?
Although the laws and rules surrounding probate administration are codified by statute and various case law, no two estates are exactly same, and as such, no two administration processes are quite the same. That said, there are some commonalities you can expect which include:
Appointment of a Personal Representative: In the event that the decedent appointed a personal representative in his will that person can serve as the executor. If the will did not list any executor, the person who serves will serve as an administrator with will annexed. In cases where there is no will at all, the person who serves will serve as an administrator.
Estate Assets: For all cases, the estate’s assets need to be identified, located, safeguarded (which may include the acquisition of insurance) and officially valued. Once administration is underway, those assets will be securely preserved or sold depending on what the personal representative wants to do and the circumstances of the case. The end of probate concludes with the legal transfer of these assets to the named beneficiaries or heirs.
Beneficiaries/Heirs: Identification and notification or heirs and/or beneficiaries.
Creditors: Notification to creditors must be made to inform them that the process of probate has begun. This step also involves the review and validation of any claims submitted against the estate, and if approved, payment to those creditors from the estate’s accounts.
Litigation: In the event that some aspect of the will challenged, a contest to appointment is made, there is wrongdoing by the personal representative, or some other matter arises, probate litigation may the only means of resolution if an agreement cannot be made by the parties in dispute.
Taxes: Estate tax liabilities need to be calculated and an estate tax return may need to be filled out and appropriately filed.
Get the Help You Need Today – Let Us Focus on Probate Administration So You Can Focus on Family
At the Alden Law Firm of Los Angeles, you can get the assistance of an experienced probate attorney. Get the compassionate, caring, and dedicated legal help that can help you navigate through this difficult time. Whether you are in Los Angeles or another county in California the firm may be able to assist you.
Call or message us today for a free consultation and get the help you need