What is Probate?

Probate Facts and Tips for California Residents

Probate is a scary situation to confront because dealing with the process means a loved one has passed away. Many people may be frightened by probate, but if your family finds itself without an estate plan, and staring down the possibility of probate, there is no need to worry. California probate courts aim to make the process as transparent as possible and with the assistance of an experienced probate attorney, you navigate the court process with ease.

What is Probate?

Probate is quite common and nothing to be afraid of. If a person passes away without a living trust, the court becomes responsible for managing the process of distributing that person’s estate.

Does Everything Go Through Probate?

Any assets like a life insurance policy, property held in joint tenancy, or assets that are “Payable or Transferable on Death” are not subject to probate. In short, anything with a named beneficiary avoids the probate process.

Can Probate Be a Long Process?

Probate is typically a long process that can last anywhere from nine months to a year or more if there are any issues or disputes. Probate begins with a 4-month waiting period for creditor claims and the time frame extends from there.

Who Manages Probate?

Typically, the court will appoint the representative of a probate estate. If there is a will, the court will make the executor the personal representative. However, If there is no will, then the courts will appoint the closest living relative willing to act as the estate’s personal representative.

Can the Personal Representative Be Paid?

The personal representative dealing with the probate proceedings may earn a fee for their time, in addition to any out-of-pocket costs when managing the estate. Fees can range from 2-4% of the probate estate.

Probate doesn’t have to be a scary or burdensome process. However, you will need the help of an experienced probate attorney to make sure the estate is settled with any issues. At Elder Law Services our team specializes in probate and trust administration. When you are ready to take the next step, please give us a call at (800) 403-6078 for a FREE phone consultation. We look forward to working with you today!

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Related Questions
  • How can I file a petition for probate in California?
  • How to avoid probate in California?
  • When is probate required in California?
  • What assets are subject to probate in California?
  • How long do you have to file probate after death in California?
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