If you ask an average person what he or she knows about probate, you'll likely get one of two responses. First, people might have no idea what you're talking about. Second, they might have some idea of what probate is, but they will know that it's probably something best avoided. While the second answer isn't exactly correct, there are good reasons why creating an estate plan to avoid probate is a good idea. As part of this goal, some people believe they can use jointly owned property to help … [Read more...] about Joint Property and Your Probate Avoidance Plan
Probate is the legal process of distributing a deceased person's estate. It can be a complicated and time-consuming process, and there are many common mistakes that people make during probate that can lead to costly delays and disputes. Fortunately, help is available through our firm to provide you with the guidance you need. Here are some key mistakes you should avoid during the probate process: Failing to create a valid will: Without a valid will, your estate will be distributed … [Read more...] about Key Mistakes During the Probate Process
As part of the probate process, any creditor who was owed money by a deceased person must be notified that the person has died. This is true in all states, including California, though the way each state approaches notification differs slightly. In California the estate administrator, sometimes known as the executor or personal representative, will have to notify creditors in various ways. Publication As soon as the probate case begins the estate administrator must quickly thereafter file … [Read more...] about Probate in California – Creditor Notifications
There's no shortage of popular myths and misconceptions about the law, but one of the more widely held is the idea that after you die your lawyer will contact all your family members and friends and get them together in a single room so he or she can read them the terms of your last will and testament. Though this is a very popular myths and often encountered in movies and novels, it is almost completely baseless. The reality is that no one has a reading of the will nowadays. The probate … [Read more...] about Why Will Reading is a Myth
Question 1: What is Probate? Probate is legal process through which a deceased person’s property must proceed before a new legal owner can be identified. Probate is designed to evaluate what a deceased person owned, as well as what kind of debts the person had. The property the person owned is used to pay off the debts, and anything left over is distributed to his or her inheritors. Question 2: Does all a Person’s Property go Through Probate? No. Some property is specifically exempt … [Read more...] about Probate Basics: Some Considerations
Most people choose to use a last Will to direct the distribution of their assets after they pass away, but it is important to recognize the fact that you have other choices. There are those who execute revocable living trusts instead, and this is something that you may want to consider. Simply set up a consultation with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney and your lawyer will explain all the details to you so that you can make an informed decision. If you do use a last … [Read more...] about Why Do I Need a Probate Lawyer?
If you have recently suffered the loss of a family member or loved one, you may be concerned about the legal steps required to probate the decedent’s estate. Probate is the legal process in court by which a decedent’s estate assets are inventoried and valued, debts of the decedent are paid and assets eventually transferred to the beneficiaries or heirs of the estate. Whether or not an estate must go through probate depends on a number of factors. Wills, Trusts, and Estate matters are governed … [Read more...] about Do All Estates Have to Go Through Probate?
In California, the Probate process includes appointing someone to act as the Personal Representative of the estate. The Personal Representative is either an executor named in someone's will or an administrator appointed by the court when there is no will or the will does not name an executor. This is the person who actually handles all of the affairs of the estate; the Court does not do it personally. If you serve as a Personal Representative, it is important that you know what your duties are … [Read more...] about Personal Representatives in California
When a person creates a Will, he or she chooses someone to act as executor of the estate. An executor is responsible for administrating the estate settlement process. Even though a probate court will likely be involved in this process unless the estate is very modest, it is ultimately the executor’s responsibility to make sure the decedent’s wishes are carried out. While steps vary in each case due to the unique aspects of each estate, there are several steps you can take to make sure your job … [Read more...] about So You’ve Been Named an Executor . . .
Some consumers mistakenly believe that avoiding probate also avoids the federal estate tax. Both probate and the federal estate tax deal with your estate, but avoiding one doesn’t avoid the other. What is Probate? What’s the Federal Estate Tax? Probate is the legal proceeding of validating a will, if there is one, and settling an estate. Probate assets are all those assets that the decedent owned in his or her individual name, but didn’t have a beneficiary designation, a joint owner or … [Read more...] about Confusion About How to Avoid Probate and Estate Taxes