WHAT IS PROBATE ?
Probate is a court process that can be time-consuming, and inconvenient. An experienced probate attorney, like me, can make the process smoother and easier for you and your family.
At the heart of my probate practice is the goal of easing the burden of this process, considering that often my clients are still grieving the passing of a loved one. Let me help you through this difficult process. Please call me at 805-624-4431 or send me an email.
What Triggers The Probate Process?
When someone has not properly planned for what happens with property and/or financial accounts after death (such as through a “living” trust), then probate is often required. Real property and other assets of the estate often can only be distributed after death, by a Court Order. A “Will” does not avoid probate. Distributing assets is essentially one important purpose of probate.
Another purpose is to give creditors notice of the death, so that they may file “claims” for debts incurred and still owing by the deceased person prior to death.
How Does Probate Work?
Probate begins when someone files a petition with the court to “open” the probate. A hearing is held and the court appoints an “administrator” or “executor” to manage the assets and oversee the probate process to its conclusion.
Various documents must be submitted to the court at each step of the probate process. Often a bond is required. A final accounting of the estate is typically required and a Final Report and Petition must be submitted to the court for a final hearing.
My Skill And Experience Can Help You Navigate Or Avoid The Probate Process
As a practicing Simi Valley probate lawyer, I know what steps must be taken along the way and the required time frames for each of the steps. I prepare the forms and documents with the information you give me. I also handle all of the notices, court filings and hearings.
It is important to note that a probate attorney’s fees are paid at the conclusion of the probate process by court order. The Probate Code dictates the attorney’s fees, which are based on a sliding scale percentage of the value of the estate. Therefore, the fees vary, depending on the size and complexity of the estate.
Creating a thoughtful estate plan can usually help people avoid probate altogether. My practice includes California estate planning. I strongly encourage my clients to plan for their estate now and save their heirs and loved ones a good deal of time and money later. If, however, estate planning was not done prior to death, I routinely represent clients in Probate Courts in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, as well as other probate courts throughout California.