The California Superior Courts probates a will in San Diego. During the probate process, a legal will is assessed and the deceased’s assets are transferred to beneficiaries listed in the will. Debts are satisfied, including all applicable taxes, and the property is distributed by the executor of the estate.
Probate is necessary, even with a legal will in San Diego. The court appoints a personal representative, also known as the “administrator,” when the estate is intestate. If there is a will, the court will accept the executor named in that document. The executor or personal representative is then responsible for administering the will by the testator’s wishes.
How to Start Probate of a Will in San Diego
A beneficiary and creditor could initiate the probate process; however, it is traditionally begun by the Executor named in the will. The Executor starts the process by filing a petition with the state’s probate court.
The deceased’s Executor is an individual that they trust and have decided capable of handling their final wishes. This is typically a family member, though some appoint an attorney or other professional. The Executor is a legal adult, and generally an organized, professional individual that can handle numerous tasks associated with this demanding role.
California law does allow the Executor to receive compensation for their time, which is paid through the estate. Sometimes it is based on a percentage, while other occasions the legal will in San Diego sets forth a different payment arrangement.
Executors are Held to Certain Standards
An Executor takes on a critical role. They are required to follow the rules and procedures, and they must adhere to certain deadlines while they probate a will in San Diego. If they were to violate these standards, they might be held personally responsible. Therefore, it may be in an Executor’s best interest to consult an attorney.
Assets that May Go Through Probate
Assets that are owned solely by the deceased are subject to the probate process. These assets will pass through the right of survivorship or transfer on death. Some accounts are not subject to probate, including those that the deceased already titled for transfer upon their death.
Life insurance and retirement accounts are not likely to go through probate either, but an attorney must be consulted before assuming otherwise. In some cases, assets that may pass through beneficiary designation or title are still subject to probate.
Are All Estates Subject to Probate?
Most states employ a dollar value that must be met for an estate to go through probate. This means that all personal property, such as real estate, cash, and personal items with a value at a specific amount trigger the need for probate court. If there is a small estate with limited assets, the estate may be able to transfer quickly without the formal probate process. However, these estates are sizably smaller and typically have little to no assets.
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