When you or a loved one dies, many people don’t think to take care of the deceased’s assets. If the decedent left assets, and there is no joint account, no beneficiary designation and no trust, then the decedent’s assets must be administered in probate court. The purpose of probate is to take care of the distribution of assets, validate a will, and settle the deceased’s affairs.
If a Will is present, the probate court will determine if the Will is valid or not. If the Will is valid, the assets will then be distributed per the terms of the decedent’s Will. If the court finds the Will invalid, the State of California will impose its succession or intestacy laws and distribute the assets per California law.
In probate court, 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 to the beneficiaries named in a Will or to the heirs, if no Will.
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.
If your loved one created a trust during his or her lifetime and transferred their assets to the trust, then upon their death, those assets will be distributed to the beneficiaries named in the trust, without probate court. However, a simplified private trust administration is necessary to administer the trust. Just like probate, funeral costs and expenses, taxes, and creditors will be paid and if any assets remain in the trust, those assets will be distributed to the trust beneficiaries. However, a trust administration does not involve the probate court and assets can be distributed to the trust beneficiaries in a simplified and cost-effective process.
Balancing the loss of a loved one as well as taking on the complicated process of probate or the simplified procedure of trust administration can be nothing short of overwhelming. The attorneys at Law Office of John Park have handled numerous probate and trust administration matters and are highly experienced to navigate the probate court or trust administration process on your behalf and distribute all the assets to your loved one’s ultimate beneficiaries in a cost effective and timely manner.
Let the attorneys at Law Office of John Park guide you through and handle the complications of probate court and trust administration, so that you can focus on the more immediate and important issues in your life--your family. Call today to talk with the attorneys at Law Office of John 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 or trust administration matter.