Why is Probate Necessary?
According to United States law, anything that has income and expenses is a “legal person” or “legal entity” and gets a tax ID number. In this regard, Social Security numbers are for human beings, and employer ID numbers are for everything else. That “everything else” includes businesses, charities, and the estates of deceased people. In other words, when a person dies, his or her property lives on as a legal entity until the personal representative of the estate (usually a family member, but sometimes a lawyer) can wrap up all its unfinished business. The lifecycle of an estate lasts only as long as the probate process, and that is where probate law in California comes into play. At the end of probate, the estate settles, and the heirs collect their inheritance.
Probate Law in California
Probate law in California serves the following purposes:
- Determining whether the deceased person had a will and presenting the will to the court
- Allowing family members to express their doubts about the will, if any
- Allowing creditors to collect debts from the deceased person’s estate
- If necessary, selling property from the estate to pay creditors or give heirs a cash inheritance
- Filing taxes on behalf of the estate
- Legally transferring possession of the deceased person’s assets to the heirs
When Probate is Not Necessary
Filing probate can be alot of work. Because of this, many states have incorporated other options to settle estates of people who do not own much property. For example, probate law in California provides for several simplified probate alternatives which are faster and less expensive than full probate. These are available for estates valued at less than $166,250. Keep in mind, however, the choice of simplified process that applies to your case depends on several factors. These factors include the value of the estate and whether the deceased person owned real estate. Furthermore, remember that probate law in California is not the same as probate law in another state. Every state has their own unique laws and procedures regarding the probate process.
Collect Your Inheritance Without Hiring a Lawyer
You do not need a lawyer for California’s simplified probate alternatives, and you probably do not need one for full probate, either. Contact A People’s Choice for professional preparation of your court documents for probate or simplified probate. You can reach our experienced staff at 800-747-2780.
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