Questions To Ask Before You Initiate Probate
California’s probate process is notoriously complex, requiring a deep understanding of the state’s laws and procedures to complete this task in a timely manner. If you are appointed estate executor, it is your responsibility to fulfill your duties on time and in full. What you may not know about this process can be costly, adding months of court supervision and legal fees.
Our team of probate attorneys at LeBeau Thelen have over one century of combined legal experience with probate, estate planning and trust matters. We design estate plans to avoid probate when possible but are always prepared to guide our clients through probate when necessary.
Before you file your petition to initiate proceedings, contact our firm. We will review your loved one’s estate plan and examine financial account statements, deeds and other relevant information before we recommend a course of action.
Helping You Determine Whether Probate Is Necessary
Answering these three questions may help you determine the most expedient and lawful approach for settling an estate:
- Is the last will and testament valid? If your loved one died without a will, the estate will need to be probated. If your loved one did write a will but it is not valid, the court will need to supervise the administration process to prevent fraud and ensure all appropriate steps are taken.
- Did your loved one create a trust document? If your loved one created a living trust, you may be able to avoid probate. This legal instrument transfers asset ownership to the trust rather than the decedent, allowing a successor trustee to distribute property to named beneficiaries.
- What is the value of the estate’s assets? California law allows estates that meet the small estate threshold to avoid probate. If your loved one’s estate qualifies for this probate exemption, our lawyers can help you submit the necessary paperwork to begin settling the estate out of court.
Our lawyers have the acumen you require to represent you in probate proceedings and implement complex estate plans. As your advocate, we will advise you on the most cost-effective strategy to pursue so that the estate beneficiaries receive the inheritance they deserve.
Contact Us With Your Probate Questions Today
Understand your options before you take action. You can easily reach a knowledgeable probate attorney to discuss your matter at our Bakersfield office. Reach us at 661-325-8962 or through our online form.