Fullerton Probate Attorneys
Compassionate Counsel for Families Navigating the Probate Process
If someone dies owning assets in his or her name alone, there must be a
probate court proceeding to determine who should receive the assets. Probate
is the legal process wherein the
estate of a decedent is administered. If a person dies with a will, the will
takes effect through the probate court proceedings. If the will is deemed
valid, an executor will distribute the property of the estate as instructed
by the will. However, if a person dies without a will, the person is said
to die “intestate” and the administrator appointed by the
court will distribute the estate based on the laws of intestate succession.
The most common probate proceeding is called the formal administration
proceeding. The entire proceeding can take between nine months to one
and a half years, maybe even longer.
The probate process can be complex. We recommend retaining our Fullerton
probate attorneys to assist you. At
OC Elder Law, we offer comprehensive counsel for families throughout Orange County.
Call us at
(714) 400-2373 or
contact us online to get started with an initial consultation.
Probate Process Summary
Upon receipt of the will, we will take the original documents to the probate
court clerk’s office. This must be done within 30 days of the decedent’s
passing. Whether there is a will or not, we will file the death certificate
with the court and will file a petition for probate on your behalf. In
the petition, we will seek to name you as the executor if the will names
you as such, or as the administrator if there is no will. As the executor
or administrator, you will be able to manage the estate’s assets.
Throughout this probate process, we will conduct all work required by the
court including but not limited to:
- Providing notices of the probate hearing to beneficiaries and creditors
- Assisting you in gathering assets and filing the inventory and appraisal form
- Contacting probate referees
- Advising you on paying debts
- Preparing income tax returns
During one of the hearings, the probate judge will instruct you on how
to distribute the estate’s property.
Your Duties & Obligations as an Executor/Administrator
After being appointed the executor or administrator of an estate, certified
copies of the letters testamentary or letters of administration naming
you as the executor may be needed by banks, title companies, tax authorities,
and others to allow you to administer the estate.
Thereafter, you must collect all the assets, pay the debts and expenses,
and then distribute the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries.
The court will expect you to provide a report detailing how the estate
was handled. Upon review and approval of this report, the judge will discharge
you from your duties as executor or administrator.
Probate fees are statutory and set forth by the state of California. To
find out what your executor’s fees and the probate attorney fees
are, please fill out our probate calculator to get the total estimated
fees and commissions.
Serving All of Southern California
If you find yourself needing assistance with a loved one’s assets,
call the Fullerton probate lawyers at OC Elder Law. We are experienced
in the probate process and are prepared to guide you through this difficult time.
(714) 400-2373 now to get started.