Los Angeles Probate Attorney
A family member’s death is a tragic event for a family to experience, especially if there are unresolved issues between the deceased and other family members. The inconvenience of dealing with creditors adds up to the pain.
It is unimaginable to deal with the unfinished business of a deceased family member, but this is a reality. Fortunately, you are not left without any remedies. The law protects the rights of heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors of a deceased person. Our Los Angeles probate lawyers at Alden Law Firm will help you deal with all probate matters.
Probate law governs the administration and settlement of an estate upon the death of an individual. A probate attorney has the knowledge and experience to gather and present an accurate picture of the person’s financial status before death and file all necessary documents.
Alden Law Firm represents clients in probate proceedings, especially in the proper distribution of the decedent’s estate. Family members do not have to deal with all the legalities of the probate process. Our Los Angeles Probate Attorneys believe that the inconvenience of handling legal matters shall not accompany your grief. Reach us at (213) 214-6937 for a free consultation.
How Can Our Probate Attorney Help You
Be Guided with the Legal Process in Probate Proceedings
When someone close to you dies, their estate must go through a legal process called probate. Probate is the process of distributing the estate assets to the beneficiaries named in the will. If there is no will, assets pass through intestate succession. Whether or not the deceased had a will and how much they were worth can determine whether probate proceedings are necessary. Our Los Angeles probate attorneys will guide you in every stage of the proceedings.
Solutions-Oriented Legal Services Focused on Getting Results
We provide not just a list of legal services; we provide solutions. We diligently protect your interests and develop personalized strategies that fit your needs. We provide personal attention to our clients. We are proactive in finding the best solution for every situation that arises in our practice.
Our Los Angeles, CA probate attorneys also provide probate administration services as part of a dynamic and supportive firm. Probate administration includes:
- Petitioning the court for authority to act on behalf of the estate
- Filing a petition for probate
- Administering the assets of the estate
- Representing the interests of the heirs and beneficiaries in probate proceedings
- Selling the property of the estate
What Is California Probate Law?
The California Probate Law governs the process of distributing a person’s estate after they die. This process includes identifying and inventorying the deceased person’s assets, paying any debts and estate taxes owed, and finally distributing the assets to the beneficiaries. Probate law recognizes the binding force of a will. According to probate law, a will includes a “codicil and any testamentary instrument which merely appoints an executor or revokes or revises another will.”
Probate proceedings are conducted in a probate court. This proceeding is where the process of identifying the assets and debts of the deceased begins. It is also where disputes concerning wills or their beneficiaries are settled.
Probate lawyers are in charge of guiding their clients through the probate process. It could be challenging for family members to settle the estate without the help of an expert in this branch of law. Call a Los Angeles probate attorney now to help settle the estate of your loved ones.
You Will Need a Probate Attorney When Probate Litigation Matters Arise
A probate attorney can help you with all aspects of the probate process, from initial estate planning to estate litigation matters that may arise. Litigation matters include, but are not limited to, disputes over wills, trusts, and the validity of an estate’s worth.
The legal process in a probate court can be overwhelming. But, with the help of probate attorneys, you can have the assurance that everything will be handled well and in accordance with the law.
Estate administration does not only involve filing legal documents with the court. It also requires communication with beneficiaries and other interested parties. Legal advice from probate attorneys can be valuable when litigation matters arise out of the administration of an estate.
Probate Litigation Matters Our Los Angeles Probate Attorney Can Handle
Probate litigation does not only mean administering and distributing an estate to its rightful beneficiaries. The complexity of probate litigation requires the skilled representation of a Los Angeles probate lawyer. Listed below are some of the probate litigation matters that our probate attorneys at Alden Law Firm handle:
Trust and Will Contest
A trust is a legal arrangement in which one person (the trustor) gives another person (the trustee) the right to hold and manage property for the benefit of a third person (the beneficiary). A will is a document that sets out how a person wants their property to be distributed after death.
A “trust litigation” and “will contest” may arise when someone believes that the terms of a trust agreement or will were not followed or that they were improperly executed.
Conservatorships are filed by a person who cannot care for themselves. A conservator is appointed to manage the person’s finances and health care. Conservatorship litigation may be necessary if a person has a mental illness, is elderly, or has a physical disability. The conservator is responsible for ensuring that the person’s financial and medical needs are taken care of.
Elder Financial Abuse
This abuse occurs when someone takes advantage of an elderly financially, often through coercion or deception. The abuser may try to get the victim to sign over control of their finances, sell their property or assets, or make other financial decisions that are not in the victim’s best interest.
Determination of Heirs to an Estate
Our probate lawyers can appear before a probate court and help determine the heirs to an estate. If there is a will, our probate lawyers can help administrate the estate and ensure that the will is followed. If there is no will, our probate attorneys will help determine who inherits what property from the estate.
Contest of an Accounting
Our probate services also include properly handling any contests to the accounting. In estate proceedings, accounting is a document that lists all the estate’s property, income, and expenses.
This document is essential because it is used to determine whether the executor of the estate is using the property and income of the estate for the benefit of the beneficiaries or abusing their power. Contests to accounting are done when someone believes that the executor is not properly handling the estate.
Litigation of Creditor Claims
Creditors would also want to protect their claims against the estate of a deceased debtor. Creditors deserve to receive the payments they are owed from the debtor’s estate, and they must submit their claims to the court during the probate process. If a creditor does not file a claim, they may lose their right to payment from the estate. Our probate attorneys can help creditors protect their claims and ensure that they are treated fairly during the probate process.
Lawsuits Involving the Interpretation of a Trust or Will
There are cases when the provisions of a trust agreement or will are disputed. The legal interpretation of these documents becomes of legal concern for the courts. A probate attorney can help interpret such provisions to assist the court in its decision properly. Probate attorneys must have a thorough knowledge of such documents and conditions to provide effective legal representation for their clients.
Suing Individuals Who Are in Possession of Estate Property
In some instances, some property belonging to the estate is in the possession of individuals who are not the rightful heirs. It is possible to file a lawsuit against these individuals to recover the property in such cases. This is known as a possessory action, and it can be an effective way to get the property back into the estate.
Determination of What Assets Belong to an Estate or Trust
The assets should be categorized as those belonging to an estate and those indicated in a trust agreement. When an asset is left to both an estate and a person, what percentage belongs to each should be determined. A probate attorney can help you with this.
Removal of a Personal Representative or Trustee of the Estate
Unfortunately, there are instances when the personal representative appointed or a trustee in a trust agreement betrays the trust of the deceased’s family members.
Suppose a family member believes the existence of the following: the personal representative or trustee is responsible for wasting assets, embezzling funds, illegally transferring property out of the estate, or abusing their power in any way. In that case, these family members should file a motion to remove such representatives immediately.
Suing a Trustee (for a Trust) or Personal Representative (for a Probate Estate) for Breach of Fiduciary Duty
A fiduciary duty means the legal responsibility of one person to act primarily for the benefit. A trustee has a fiduciary duty to the trust beneficiaries. In contrast, the personal representative of an estate has a fiduciary duty to all potential heirs or beneficiaries. The law governing breach of fiduciary duties is complex. Usually, it requires special analysis to determine whether you have a valid claim. Probate lawyers can help you file a breach of fiduciary duty claim.
Contesting the Appointment of a Trustee or Personal Representative to Be in Charge of an Estate
In the estate administration process, the family members may also have a voice in the appointment of a trustee or personal representative. This means that a family member has a direct say in who will be responsible for settling the estate and administering its asset. They have a right to contest it if they feel a particular individual is not fit for the job.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A personal representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit in estate proceedings.
The legal claim is usually based upon a state statute that provides damages when a person causes another’s death, even if it was unintentional.
A probate attorney must protect the estate’s interests and any person who has a right to bring a wrongful death claim.
Finding a Probate Attorney Near Me | Call an Experienced Los Angeles Probate Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Our probate attorneys at Alden Law Firm provide legal representation in estate litigation and other probate matters. We provide a free consultation in all our legal services, including probate services. We understand that the provisions of probate law are very complex, and going through the death of a loved one is never easy. Our California probate lawyers provide extensive legal services to cater to your legal needs. Reach us now at (213) 214-6937 and schedule a free consultation.