If you use your personal funds to cover an administrative expense in probate, you are legally entitled to compensation. The estate should provide this compensation, but certain protocols exist to protect both you and the estate. You must be sure you are legally entitled to the compensation and that you file to receive it correctly. Failure in this could result in a much more complicated probate and even accusations that you are attempting to make an unreasonable “creditor’s claim.”

Does this sound complicated? It can be! However, an experienced document preparer should be able to help you identify qualified expenses and take the appropriate steps to track the expenses and file for compensation. A People’s Choice will help you navigate this process without the added expense of an attorney. Read on to learn more about administrative expense in probate.

What our Clients Say...
“I used A People’s Choice to prepare and file documents to probate my sister’s estate.  I began the probate process in pro per and hired them after discovering the difficulty in processing the probate by myself.  Very knowledgeable with good technology to keep me informed.  Their fees were significantly less than what I would have had to pay for an attorney, yet their services were excellent. I can’s see where an attorney would have been any better (or as good). Highly recommend this service.”
Ron C.
“Can’t say enough about the level of service and professionalism I received working with A People’s Choice. Emails were always responded to quickly and thoughtfully. They really care about the process and helping you get the best result with no up-selling. Of course, they can’t provide legal advice, but I was referred to an attorney when I needed some questions answered who was very reasonable and easy to get a hold of as well. The process played out according to plan, and I ended up saving a lot of money by going with A People’s Choice over an attorney.”
M. Rice
“I am writing to give A People’s Choice my utmost recommendation. Living in New England, I found them on the web. After speaking with a staff member on the phone I had the confidence to give them my business. A People’s Choice handled my probate case with great professionalism and knowledge. My case turned out to be more complicated than originally believed, and the staff walked me through each step. They always responded promptly to my email questions. In the end, their service was exactly what I hoped for; they saved me thousands of dollars and allowed me to do it from across the country. They were truly a pleasure to work with.”
K. Levenson
“A People Choice provided excellent support with the appropriate legal documents and filing process in a spousal property petition after my husband passed. Lawyers wanted to charge me a fortune. However, once I spoke with someone at A People’s Choice, they took on my case and guided me through every step. A People’s Choice has years of experience, which gave me a sense of trust and confidence. I always got immediate feedback from every email request. If you need probate help, I would highly recommend A People’s Choice.”
Sylvia A
“I had a great experience with my California probate case using A People’s Choice! The people that assisted me were so helpful.  I certainly could not have done this probate by myself.  The best part was that I was able to save over $10,000 in lawyer fees!  All my emails were always returned so quickly. Needless to say, I am a very satisfied customer.  I would highly recommend A People’s Choice to all my friends and family!”
Joi C
“When my mother-in-law passed away last year, we didn’t know what to do. We contacted A People’s Choice and from day one they were very helpful. They held our hand every step of the way, and if I had a question any time of the day or night someone got back to me within a few hours. I highly recommend A People’s Choice if you don’t know what to do and don’t want to pay the high price of a lawyer, especially if you don’t have much money.”
Mikki C
“A People’s Choice helped us throughout our entire year-long probate making the process very easy and manageable while at the same time saving us thousands of dollars in lawyer’s fees. Not only were they extremely friendly and fast to respond to our questions but they made the process simple enough that we hardly ever had to contact the courthouse directly and we even had a hearing done without an appearance. Would highly recommend A People’s Choice to anyone!”
A. Vuckovich
“I must say that A People’s Choice is a very responsible and effective company. The staff there is very nice and replied to all my questions by email quickly. With their help, I accomplished the probate in 8 months successfully and saved at least $10,000.00 in attorney fees, so I strongly recommend everybody to contract with A People’s Choice and let them help you with your legal documents. You will be very satisfied with their work as I did!!!!”
C. Chiu
“Thanks to A People’s Choice, I was able to get through a probate matter very smoothly. I had not one issue with the Courts. They guided me through the whole probate until the very end. I live up north, but that didn’t matter, A People’s Choice did an excellent job keeping me informed with everything that I needed to do. I saved THOUSANDS of dollars by going with A People’s Choice. You can’t go wrong, no matter what your needs are. I saved a lot of money by not having to pay out a percentage to an attorney. Many thanks to the staff at A People’s Choice for the great help they give to everyone in their times of need like I was! Thank You.”
R. Leonard
“When my father passed away without a will, we needed help handling the transfer of his assets. Since there weren’t significant assets, I didn’t want to spend too much on the legal paperwork. A People’s Choice offered just the right service we needed. In particular, the staff was very responsive to our document filing needs, helping to turn around corrections almost immediately. They helped to ease a tough situation.”
Michael C.
“I used A People’s Choice for help with a probate matter. My grandfather died Christmas of 2016. He had a living trust, but no one was able to find it. We went to A People’s Choice, and we were able to do a probate affidavit to get what was left of my grandfather’s estate. Took two days for the documents to be prepared and the bank accepted them without any questions. Sandy was the one who assisted us, and we really appreciate the help that was provided. A+ service.”
David R.
“A People’s Choice worked on my probate case for over 1 year. Their knowledge, dedication, and commitment to clients are exceptional, preparing the required legal documents, and all the court filings. They used the e-filing system which really expedited the process. They always answered my emails in a very timely manner and were professional. The probate process is long and sometimes seems overwhelming. It’s also very expensive, A People’s Choice saved me thousands of dollars as compared to an attorney. I would highly recommend A People’s Choice for your probate needs. It’s cost effective, and they handle the entire process from beginning to end!”
C.K..
“Probate itself is a frustrating and expensive process. A People’s Choice was professional and courteous throughout a long probate process. Everyone I came in contact with at A People’s Choice was exceptionally helpful, patient, and professional. For those entering into the probate process, I must warn you that it is difficult to understand. The staff at A People’s Choice makes it as tolerable you could wish for.  The people who work there were kind, efficient, and understanding.  If you email your questions, they’ll get back to you and won’t make you feel like you are ignorant if you are unclear about any part of the process.”
Marcel B
“I needed help understanding and filling out legal documents, but I didn’t have enough money to pay for an attorney. After searching the internet, I found A People’s Choice. I was relieved to know that I would get the exact service that I needed at an affordable price. The staff was very professional and helpful with my legal documents. They worked around my schedule and responded to my emails in a timely manner. They took care of all the paperwork and filing and kept me posted. I would highly recommend A People’s Choice for your legal documents as you will get outstanding service at an affordable price.
Sharon B.
“After not having my call returned from a probate lawyer, I looked into doing a Spousal Property Petition myself.  A People’s Choice assisted me through the whole probate process and everything went smoothly.  When I appeared in court, I didn’t have to say a word. The judge just said, “granted.”  Using A People’s Choice I saved thousands of dollars, and I’m so glad that probate attorney didn’t return my call.  I highly recommend A People’s Choice.”
Donna G.
“A People’s Choice walked me through the entire probate process. This company is very professional and helpful and made a scary probate pretty much stress free. I would send an email with a question I had thought of over the weekend with the expectation I would get an answer on Monday but lo and behold, I often got an answer within minutes! Thank you to the staff for your guidance and patience to talk me through such a difficult time. You made the process very smooth! Probably saved us about $10,000! We are very pleased and will be referring our friends/family to A People’s Choice!”
L. Garrett.
“I had hoped to have my probate process taken care of by myself to save money. After the fourth attempt to file at the Clerk’s office, I left in tears and faced the reality of hiring an attorney. I look on the internet to find one and came across A People’s Choice. They offered a price that was way below what attorneys charge! They guided me through every step of the process and wrote up all the paperwork so that all I had to do was sign. It was really an amazing experience. They are a pleasure to work with.”
D. Chase.
“Thank you so much for all your help through this California probate process.  By using your company instead of a California probate lawyer, we were able to cut our expenses dramatically.  Thank you for answering my many questions and for giving me a heads up on documents that could be prepared in advance in order to save time and money.  There was always someone available to help! Thank you again.”
Craig K.

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…or continue reading the article below to learn more about a Creditor’s Claim vs. Administrative Expense in Probate.

Potential Probate Expenses

Probate involves the court-supervised process of settling a decedent’s estate. California state law creates a formal and informal process of administering the decedent’s estate. Small estates (valued under $150,000) do not go through the full probate process. Administration of estates greater than $150,000 in value usually takes between 8 to 12 months.

During the probate process, creditor claims may arise against the estate. Such claims may include estate administration expenses, unpaid tax debts, or loans owed to individuals or financial institutions. Before beneficiaries and heirs receive their distributions of remaining assets in the estate, the executor or administrator must pay certain debts in a particular order. Those debts take the following precedence: the decedent’s funeral expenses, federal taxes, state taxes, and hospital bills. Sometimes, homestead exemption options exist for certain payments. The administrator takes responsibility for identifying this type of situation as well. If you are not a probate expert, then you may wish you had some type of professional guidance in this type of situation. If you don’t need legal advice, A People’s Choice is a great choice to get through the document preparation and case management process.

How People Accrue an Estate Administrative Expense in Probate

From time to time, the appointed executor or estate administrator may use their personal funds to pay the decedent’s expenses. The common law allows for the estate to pay the representative to prevent unjust enrichment. Repayment of such expenses usually occurs at the closing of the estate (estate taxes take precedence). Local court rules should provide further instructions on estate representatives on how to handle reimbursement. For example, Contra Costa Local Probate Rules states the following:

Claim vs. Estate Administrative Expense in Probate

(1)   The Court will not approve “creditors claims” which represent obligations of the estate arising after the death of the decedent (except reasonable funeral expense). Such expenses are an estate administrative expense in probate, not a creditor’s claims, and may be included for approval in the account or report.

(2)   The Court will not approve “creditors claims” which are requests for reimbursement by the person who paid what may otherwise have been a creditor claim. These are claims for equitable subrogation and may be included for approval in the account or report.

What is “Unjust Enrichment”?

The court defines unjust enrichment as a situation in which someone in probate used the process to gain benefits they did not deserve. Essentially, the term means the administrator used unfair means to their own gain.

However, the probate process is not always an easy one. Sometimes you may end up making payments from your personal funds to smooth the process. As a result, you now have an administrative expense in probate. When this happens, filing for compensation becomes perfectly reasonable. However, if your claim falls under equitable subrogation, then you may need to follow a different process. A People’s Choice can help you file a creditor’s claim for compensation.

Distributions and Compensation

Once the administrator has handled payment of creditor claims against the estate, they will distribute the remainder of the assets. Administrative expense in probate falls under those claims. Since the court authorizes payment of other debts following payment of state and local taxes, prepare to file your documentation so you receive payment as well.

Gather the estate assets and have them appraised. Then, notify all interested parties (usually the heirs and beneficiaries) that the estate is ready for distribution. Finally,once you complete that process, you may conclude probate. However, your expenses matter as an executor or administrator. Work with A People’s Choice to get more information on submitting claims for administrative expense in probate or equitable subrogation. We can help you prepare the forms you need. We also offer full probate document preparation and case management services for executors and personal representatives. Call us today at 805-648-5540.

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