Probate

Probate is the court-supervised transfer of assets to the individuals named in the will, if the decedent left a valid will. Where there is no will, the court will order the distribution of the assets according to laws of intestate succession, or those who die without a valid will.

I understand that the loss of a loved one is a very difficult time, having had personal experience of this. Therefore, I try to make the probate experience as stress-free as possible so that you can focus on recovering emotionally from your loss. I will handle most of the time-consuming work on your behalf and will ensure that all the paperwork is completed accurately, which minimizes time wasted in court.

What is the Probate Process?

The probate process begins with the person nominated in the will as executor filing a petition with the court to “open” the probate. If there is no will or nominated executor, an administrator is normally nominated by the decedent’s heirs and approved by the court. Once the probate is opened, the court provides the authorization for the executor or administrator act on behalf of the estate–to open accounts, locate assets, transfer them to the probate estate, and in some cases, sell assets.

How Long Does the Process Take?

It is rare for probate in California to take less than 9 months. However, not all probate actions are exactly identical. More often than not, the larger the estate, the more involved the process. It is not uncommon for probate to take over a year.

What Does Probate Cost?

Probate can be costly. Attorneys and executors are generally paid a statutory fee based on the size of the estate. Other costs include filing fees, newspaper publication costs,  court-ordered appraiser fees, and certified copies. The court may require that the executor post a bond, unless waived in the will, or all beneficiaries waive the posting of the bond and the court approves.   I will help in whatever way possible to reduce the cost of probate.