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
When you start to get serious about delving into the subject of estate planning it is likely that you will start to do some research on the Internet. When you do so you will invariably see mention of something called "probate" quite frequently, and you may wonder exactly what it is and what it is intended to achieve. Probate can be defined as the legal process of estate administration, and during this interim the probate or surrogate court in the jurisdiction that is local to you determines … [Read more...] about Do You Really Need A Probate Lawyer?
When a loved one passes away, the loss you feel can be overwhelming and debilitating. Focusing on anything but your grief may seem impossible; however, if you were named as the Executor of the estate the decedent was counting on you to be able to set aside your grief long enough to oversee the probate of the estate. If you have never before served as an Executor, you may be feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of administering an estate. 10 Tips for an Executor Consulting with an … [Read more...] about Probating an Estate — Tips for an Executor
In a perfect world, the testator of a last will and testament will always discuss with you his or her intention to appoint you as executor of his or her estate prior to actually doing so. Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world. As a result, it is not uncommon for someone to receive a telephone call informing her that she has been named as executor in a will without any prior knowledge of the nomination. If this has recently happened to you, you may be wondering what to do next. The … [Read more...] about You’re the Executor of A Will: Now What?
When faced with the loss of a family member or loved one, the emotional toll can be immeasurable. Along with handling the emotional impact of the loss, you may also be faced with handling the practical aspects as well. One question that often comes up is whether or not the decedent’s estate is required to pass through the legal process known as probate. The answer to that question depends on the law of the state where the decedent was considered to be a resident at the time of death. While … [Read more...] about Is Probate Necessary?
If you recently lost your spouse, you probably do not want to think about the practical and legal steps that are required following a death. To ensure that your spouse’s estate is properly handled, and assets are transferred to the intended beneficiaries and/or heirs of the estate, however, you need to consider the need to probate his/her estate. Let's see when you will need to probate a spouse’s estate in California. Why Might I Want to Avoid Probate? Probate is the name given to the … [Read more...] about How Do I Know If Probate Is Necessary for My Spouse’s Estate?