What Is Probate?

Probate is the court-supervised process in which a person’s property is distributed and their estate is settled after the person has passed. The process also involves the appointment of an executor or personal representative who will manage the process and distribute the property as set out in the will if there is one. If the decedent does not leave a will, their property is distributed in accordance with the California laws of intestate succession. During this process, the court assesses the decedent’s assets to determine their total value, and the executor takes responsibility for which taxes and debts these assets will cover. Once the executor completes the initial asset distribution and pays outstanding taxes and debts, they distribute the remainder among those individuals or organizations specified in the will, if there is one. Probate is a supervised process aiming to ensure that the will’s beneficiaries receive the property bequeathed to them in the will. If no will or trust exists, the process could be more complicated. Key Terms Used In Probate Administration: Decedent – the deceased person Will – a legally binding document signed by the deceased prior to their passing to establish their wishes regarding their assets or titles Beneficiaries – the individuals or organizations who will inherit property Executor – the individual appointed in the will to act as the estate’s legal representative The Probate Court Process The attorneys at Weiner Law know that the probate process can be confusing and overwhelming. Our clients benefit from having a compassionate attorney in their corner when they handle these administrative duties. The right support can make everything seem less of a burden, and our team is available to help you through the process whenever you need us. Even when the decedent does leave a will, there are numerous steps required to complete the probate process in California, a state with an exceptionally demanding probate process. Without a will the probate can often be even more complex. The probate process typically follows these eight steps: Submit a copy of the death certificate. An executor or probate attorney will inform the courts about the death by submitting a copy of the death certificate to start the process. Validate the will. The court must authenticate the will to ensure all formalities were followed in accordance with the law. Select probate representative. The court then officially appoints or accepts the executor who will oversee the probate process and settle the estate with the beneficiaries. If there is no will or named executor, the court will appoint a personal representative instead. Post a bond. The bond amount protects beneficiaries against errors that an executor or personal representative may make during the probate administration process. Inform beneficiaries and creditors. An executor or personal representative must take responsibility for this duty as one of the most significant undertakings of probate. It involves finding and informing named parties about the will or death, status of the will, and entitlements. Determine the value of assets and property. An estate assessment accounts for all the decedent’s possessions. An executor may need to hire a professional appraiser for larger estates, including inventorying assets to determine the value of the estate. Pay all the deceased’s fees and debts. The funeral expenses usually come out of the estate, and the executor will also have to pay for medical expenses, taxes, and unpaid debts from the fund. Distribute assets. Afterward, the representatives distribute the rest of the estate to the named beneficiaries in the will. If there is no will, distributions will be made to the decedent’s closest relatives as determined by California law. Weiner Law 12707 High Bluff Drive Ste. 125 San Diego, CA 92130 (858) 333-8844 https://weinerlegacylaw.com/

Weiner Law
Category: Specialized Legal Services, Trusts & Estates Attorneys

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