Many people don’t realize that if you or a loved one dies and has assets in your individual name, that asset may go to probate court, upon your death. A probate is a court procedure where a court will determine if the decedent had assets and a valid Will. If no assets, then usually there is no probate. If there is valid Will, then the court will determine if the Will is valid or not. If the Will is valid, the assets will distribute per the terms of the decedent’s Will. If the Will is not valid, then the State of California has a Will for the decedent and will distribute the decedent’s assets, if any, by a predetermined formula.
An individual is appointed to act as the Personal Representative of the decedent’s estate and administers the estate by: confirming if the decedent had assets in the decedent’s name, ascertaining if there was a last will and testament and if so, present to the probate court, marshalling the assets, paying funeral and administration expenses, paying taxes, paying creditors, and if any assets are remaining, to distribute per the decedent’s Will or per California’s intestate succession law.
Probate is expensive and time-consuming. If you properly plan during your life by preparing estate planning documents, such as a revocable living trust and transfer your assets to the revocable living trust, you may be able to avoid probate court.
Losing a loved one is extremely difficult, but if you have to additionally deal with the complications of a probate, the process can be overwhelming. Let attorney John Park handle the complications of the probate, so that you can focus on the more immediate and important issues in your life, your family. Call today to schedule your appointment with attorney John Park and discuss your options on how to avoid a probate or if you have questions after losing a loved one and need to open a probate or are involved with a current probate matter.