At one point or another, you may have found yourself in the position of having to settle the estate of a loved one. Doing so may have made you acutely aware of the difficulties of handling a decedent’s estate without a proper will in place.
Many people dread the difficulty of going through the probate process when the time comes. In fact, many individuals use estate planning to avoid probate. If you are thinking of starting the estate planning process, it is important to understand the probate process so that you can plan appropriately.
When approaching estate planning, it is important to seek legal advice to ensure that your will complies with California state law. A probate attorney in the Fullerton area can help you with the estate planning process so that you feel confident that your final wishes clear. Read further for more information about probate court laws.
In general, probate is the legal process of closing out a decedent’s estate and distributing the remaining assets. Usually, the court oversees the process, which can include proving the legitimacy of a will, selecting an administrator for the estate, and determining the total assets that are part of the estate. The court also identifies all the heirs identified in the will and ensures that the administrator handles all of the remaining taxes and debts. In addition, the probate court also supervises the distribution of the estate’s assets to the named beneficiaries.
Difficulties and benefits
The difficulties that surround probate court cause most people to take steps to avoid it. States often hold an estate in probate for between 30 and 90 days. If someone comes forward to contest the will, the probate period can take even more time. The longer it takes to complete the probate process, the more money the estate will have to pay for court fees, attorney fees, and payments to any other professional involved in closing out the estate.
While the process can seem cumbersome and lengthy, there are some benefits of probate. For example, the legal process provides a certain amount of added validity to the will. Once the probate process is complete, the family of the decedent can feel more confident that all questions about the handling of the estate have been addressed by the court.
If you are worried about the probate process, you should start the estate planning process so that your loved ones can settle your estate in a faster and easier manner.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001