How much does probate cost?

Probate is not an inexpensive process in California. There are several small estate probate proceedings that are reasonably inexpensive to undertake. A full probate, can run several thousand dollars in fees and costs, even when you do it yourself. Filing a probate with the help of an experienced probate legal document assistant is the cheapest [...]

By |2018-06-17T17:50:08-07:00April 16th, 2016||Comments Off on How much does probate cost?

How long does California probate take?

If there are no unusual problems, a typical California probate proceeding can be concluded in approximately seven to twelve months. Due to crowded court calendars, hearings are often held six to ten weeks after the initial probate petition is filed. After Letters of Administration are issued, there is a mandatory four-month creditor claim period. There [...]

By |2018-06-17T17:50:08-07:00April 16th, 2016||Comments Off on How long does California probate take?

What are the duties of an Executor or Personal Representative?

The executor or estate's personal representative has a duty to administer the decedent's estate. Administration of the estate includes locating the decedent's assets, managing the assets to prevent losses, paying bills for the estate, filing necessary tax returns, preparing an inventory of the assets, locating heirs and beneficiaries, and other duties. The role of the [...]

By |2018-06-17T17:50:08-07:00April 16th, 2016||2 Comments

What is a probate asset?

Assets that are solely in the name of the decedent are generally probate assets. Assets that can transferred through pay-on-death provisions are not considered probate assets. For example, if an asset is owned in joint tenancy (but not if it is owned in tenancy in common) or there is a named beneficiary designated to receive [...]

By |2020-01-02T11:14:06-08:00April 16th, 2016||Comments Off on What is a probate asset?

How can someone find out if they are named in a will?

California Probate Code Section 8200(a)  requires that the original will be filed with the court in the county where the person who dies resided within 30 days after the person's death. Unfortunately, this statutory requirement is rarely complied with. In fact, in most cases, the original will is only lodged with the court if the [...]

By |2018-06-17T17:50:08-07:00April 16th, 2016||Comments Off on How can someone find out if they are named in a will?

How are the decedent’s debts handled in probate?

Anyone who winds up a deceased person’s affairs must see that all legitimate debts are paid. Claims are received two ways – formally and informally. At the formal level, the Notice of Petition to Administer Estate published in the newspaper gives legal notice to all creditors to file their claims within four months after issuance [...]

By |2018-06-17T17:50:08-07:00April 15th, 2016||Comments Off on How are the decedent’s debts handled in probate?

Can a minor receive property in probate?

Usually property cannot be distributed to minor unless a guardian has been appointed for the minor’s estate. There are some exceptions, however, if the amount to be distributed is small, the decedent’s will names a custodian to receive the minor’s property or the minor has a court-appointed guardian. If there is no appointed guardian, and [...]

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What are Letters in probate?

Letters can be more easily understood as being the estate representative's "proof of authority" as the estate representative in a probate proceeding. Letters Testamentary are issued to the estate representative when the decedent had a will. Letters of Administration are issued when the decedent did not have a will. Letters are issued by the Court [...]

By |2018-06-17T17:50:09-07:00April 15th, 2016||Comments Off on What are Letters in probate?

Is the estate representative entitled to compensation?

As an estate representative, you are entitled to compensation for services, referred to as “commissions” which are paid out of the estate assets. You may request or waive the commissions in the Petition for Final Distribution. The amount of commission is based on the gross value of the probate estate as follows: 4% of the [...]

By |2018-06-17T17:50:09-07:00April 15th, 2016||Comments Off on Is the estate representative entitled to compensation?

When can a probate be closed?

The probate estate may be closed any time after the expiration of the creditor’s claim period (four months from the date letters are issued) if all debts and taxes have been paid or sufficiently secured, and no problems prevent the estate from being closed. In order to close the estate, the personal representative must file [...]

By |2018-06-17T17:50:37-07:00April 15th, 2016||Comments Off on When can a probate be closed?