Probate and estate administration are concerns that are far from being trivial. They are not limited to novels or movies; at one point in life or another, they are relevant to essentially everyone. They are relevant to you.
It is not uncommon for the supposed beneficiary of a deceased person (who did not make a last will and testament) to face intestate probate. Intestate is the term used to refer to a case where a decedent (the person who died) dies without being able to make a will. Probate proceedings in such cases are among the most common.
The above, however, are not the only instances where probate cases become relevant. In addition to the above, even if a deceased loved one left a will, the heir could still be dealing with a probate matter. If it so happens that it was not specified in the will that certain assets and personal property will transfer on death (to the surviving spouse of the testator, for example), one would still have to go through the legal process specified by probate laws.
Regardless if it is a testate probate case or intestacy laws will apply, the above could be very stressful. Such is the reason why avoiding probate when someone dies is often crucial. Dealing with the death of a loved one is, in itself, emotionally draining. Inheritance, after all, is often seen as merely a silver lining to an otherwise unfortunate event. Having to go through legal proceedings when the estate of the deceased is probated, therefore, makes it more difficult to deal with.
What is California probate?
Probate or estate administration is a legal process that is done according to state law. The probate procedure generally covers the transferring of the estate property of a decedent to his or her surviving heirs, specifically after death. Note that probate law could vary from state to state. This is why getting legal help from experts in the field is very important.
The probate process involves several court forms and estate planning documents. Make sure you are duly supervised as you prepare and fill out such since they must be pursuant to what is indicated in California estate law. Otherwise, its validity could be questioned. (This is another problem you would want to avoid as much as possible).
How can an estate planning law expert assist a petitioner in the probate court?
- Following the current court system, several probate forms are required, depending on specific rules of court and individual circumstances. An experienced estate plan attorney can give due supervision and answer questions on letters testamentary, distributing the estate, and probate administration in general. He or she can provide clarifications on these and related matters.
- A good probate lawyer can bring to court the petition for probate and help you prove, to the probate judge, jurisdiction over necessary parties. He or she can likewise assist in preparing all paperwork necessitated by probate proceedings at the courthouse. This could include the will (if applicable) and the death certificate indicating the date and time of death and other necessary details.
- You will need a lawyer who can properly explain why certification of being appointed as personal representative is necessary and discuss what it means to marshall the assets of the estate, following relevant probate rules. The latter covers the appraisal of probate property and, in case a creditor is owed by the estate, taking care of debts and other liabilities. Such is something you should not take lightly.
- An experienced probate attorney will be able to help you get a tax identification number, open a bank account, and file a federal estate tax return if such is applicable. He or she will also be able to help determine if a state estate tax return will also be necessary. Estate taxes can be problematic when not dealt with properly. As such, knowledge of estate tax planning and relevant laws is crucial.
- Probate lawyers can help provide a clear explanation of what the terms administer, probate estate, and the statute of limitations mean. You will need an attorney knowledgeable on probate code so you can get assistance on actually distributing estate assets to beneficiaries. Keep in mind that administering the estate of the deceased and being tasked to distribute what must be distributed can be a lot more challenging than it seems.
Proceeding with an application for probate or carrying out tasks as an executor should be taken very seriously. Avoid probate and solve probate issues with an estate planning attorney from a reliable law firm. Call us at Moschetti Law Group, at telephone number 888-664-1848, for a consultation.