Probate attorney consultation
The loss of a loved one is a difficult experience. In addition to grieving for a family member or friend who has passed, those left behind are entrusted with deciding who will be overseeing their estate. In a probate case, the personal representative is either the executor (if there is a will) or the administrator (if there is no will). These persons function as a personal representative to collect assets, pay debts and expenses, and distribute the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries, all under the supervision of a probate court. In some cases, the process will finish in as little as 9 months. But more typically, probate can take anywhere from a year to 18 months, sometimes even longer, to finish.
A good probate attorney will help you understand the complexities of your case and provide the guidance you need. The attorneys at David W. Foley understand how overwhelming the process of probate can be. We offer an initial consultation by phone or online meeting, which will give you an opportunity to ask preliminary questions, or you can fill out an intake form on our website.
What to expect
After the loss of a loved one, probate and estate plans may be the last things on your mind. Moving forward can still be difficult, even if you are prepared for the death of a loved one. Knowing what to expect can help. If you’re looking to avoid probate, protect your loved one’s assets, and honor their last wishes, then consider a consultation about a living trust. Revocable living trusts are legal documents that establish a trust for the transfer of your assets after your death. A probate attorney can answer any questions about assets and real estate holdings under a living trust and advise you on your options as you move forward.
The probate process cannot begin until after the individual’s funeral. At that point, the executor must complete their required duties, which range from locating the proper documents, to filing petitions and paying debts and taxes. Once the decedent’s financial responsibilities are met, the executor must distribute whatever assets are left to the legal heirs and beneficiaries. At that point, an official accounting of the details of the estates, including how estate funds were spent, will be drawn for the courts. If the court approves everything, your case will be officially closed.
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The process of probate is confusing and dealing with the California courts can be complicated and stressful. Therefore, the most important thing when planning your estate is to help your heirs avoid probate and the issues that make it difficult. A properly prepared living trust is the best method to designate how your assets are distributed and honor your last wishes.
A consultation with a probate attorney is the first step. At California living trusts, our goal is to make the probate process simple and easy to understand. We are compassionate attorneys who will support you during this difficult time. If you find yourself in an overwhelming situation… We are here to help!