Are you looking for help filing probate in Los Angeles county? Unfortunately, hiring a Los Angeles probate lawyer can be very expensive and a complex issue as well. Due to California’s statutory attorney fee schedule, a Los Angeles probate lawyer can charge more than $10,000 in fees for a simple estate! In contrast, A People’s Choice provides probate help for a low, flat rate. Using our legal services is a great alternative to hiring a Los Angeles probate lawyer – plus, it will save you thousands of dollars.
As a personal representative to the deceased, the probate process is much easier if proper estate planning was made before the start of the legal process. Information regarding the estate taxes is also essential before filing probate. Also, you can seek the legal services of estate planning attorneys if the asset had not been subjected to a good estate plan based on the existing estate planning instruments. This could also be the case if the estate assets were part of community property.
If it’s your first time to file a probate in Los Angeles, you may wonder whether seeking the services of a probate lawyer could provide any meaningful help. To elaborate on that, this article will discuss probate lawyers in Los Angeles and how you can start the process of filing probate.
Guidelines and Procedures for Filing Probate and is it Good to Hire a Los Angeles Probate Lawyer
Filing probate without a Los Angeles probate lawyer can be a difficult task. For example, every county has different probate procedures called “local rules”. Therefore, when you file probate in a Los Angeles County probate firm, you must comply with the Los Angeles Probate Court’s local rules every step of the way. A probate lawyer can provide the necessary legal advice on how to handle your probate in their law firm. Estate planning lawyers can also guide guardianships, conservatorships, and estate litigation.
Believe it or not, the probate section of the local rules for Los Angeles courts consists of about 30 pages! Luckily, even if you’re filing probate without a Los Angeles probate lawyer, you’re not on your own. A People’s Choice is familiar with the Los Angeles County local probate rules and therefore can assist with completing and properly filing your paperwork. You’ll not have to bother checking out for lawyers elsewhere. You will therefore have an awesome experience with the probate law firms in Los Angeles alongside significant aspects of trust.
To effectively file probate, a probate lawyer may also request to know the approach to estate planning used. This way, any allegations of estate mismanagement can get outlined before the filing process. Another issue to put into consideration before filing probate is beneficiary concerns. All individuals should understand the technique that will be used to distribute the deceased’s assets to beneficiaries. All the assets for beneficiaries must be distributed according to the existing laws. Examples of the deceased’s assets that won’t be subject to probate include:
- Retirement benefits
- Brokerage accounts
- Revocable living trust
Los Angeles County Probate Courts
The Los Angeles Superior Court has two courthouses that have extensive experience in handling probate issues: the main Stanley Mosk Courthouse at 111 North Hill Street; and the Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse at 42011 4th Street West. Before filing a Los Angeles probate, you need to decide which court is proper for your case using the online filing court locator. You must also adhere to their working office hours.
As a personal representative to the deceased, you always have to ensure that their probate estate is handed over to the designated heirs following a proper legal procedure. Therefore, trust administration is one form of your fiduciary duty. You also need to minimize trust disputes. In Los Angeles, the probate courts ensure that all the estate assets presented in the will undergo a strict probate process before getting allocated to the rightful heirs. The aim is to minimize any estate disputes during the actual estate administration process. Therefore, you should keep in mind the issues of probate litigation and asset ownership disputes.
Whether you’re filing probate for personal property or one under joint ownership, the probate courts in Los Angels have a wide legal experience in handling such issues. You may also seek assistance from a large pool of experienced attorneys if you’re willing to meet the costs. The wide range of probate services offered in this county helps offer personal attention to every probate matter.
Los Angeles Probate Court Local Rules
The Los Angeles Probate Court’s local rules outline procedures for filing legal document (s) and describe how a case proceeds through the California court system. Although certainly not an all-inclusive list, here are some important rules to know before filing probate in Los Angeles County:
- Los Angeles County Courts require many local forms for probate matters.
- Original will require an extra $50 filing fee when lodged.
- All probates need a coversheet to assign the probate to a specific court.
The Los Angeles County Courts have now implemented an optional e-filing site available for self-represented parties to streamline the probate process without visiting their physical office locations.
- Any documents filed after the petition require a cover sheet.
- You will need to file a separate document asking the court to appoint a probate referee, as they will not do so on their own.
The Probate Division Subsequent Document Filing Coversheet (PRO 037) is a new document in the Los Angeles probate process that must be attached to all documents filed after the petition.
- You must file a declaration of liabilities of the real estate with the probate petition.
- The court typically sets a hearing on the probate petition about five weeks after the petition filing. In comparison, the hearing on a petition for final distribution is usually scheduled three or more months after filing the petition for final estate asset distribution.
In certain court departments, parties may appear for their hearing by telephone. However, they must arrange all phone appearances through a special company, CourtCall, which charges a fee for their services.
Probate Examiner’s Notes for Los Angeles Probate Cases
The Los Angeles Probate Court posts probate examiners’ notes about a week before all scheduled hearings. Probate notes point out deficiencies in filed paperwork that may likely lead to probate disputes. Plus, the notes may identify additional information the court requires to approve the petition regarding probate & estate administration. That said, don’t assume that probate notes will identify all the problems. Sometimes, the judge may have other questions or concerns at the hearing regarding the administration of estates.
To view probate notes, simply enter your probate case number on the court’s website. Then, all notes for your case will appear on your computer screen. Likewise, you can also access the probate case information, including a list of all filed documents, through this same system.
Further, you can email the probate examiner with questions about probate notes. However, there is no point in contacting the Los Angeles probate lawyer unless notes have been posted for review. Therefore, you should check the online system regularly starting at least two weeks before any scheduled hearing. Refer to the court’s website for other rules about emailing the Los Angeles probate lawyer.
Delayed Probate Notes
Unfortunately, sometimes notes for Los Angeles probate matters are not available until the morning of the hearing. Consequently, there is usually not enough time to file supplemental pleadings to answer probate examiner questions before facing the judge. As a result, routine hearings are often continued in a second meeting.
Low-Cost Help To File Probate in Los Angeles County
Typically, the probate process can take six to eight months to complete. The length of the entire process often discourages people from trying to file probate without a probate attorney. Nevertheless, A People’s Choice has helped many people complete probate in Los Angeles County amid an exciting legal experience. We have even on occasion helped Los Angeles probate lawyers familiarize themselves with probate paperwork! This shows our great commitment to legal matters concerning probate. Our client rating is also excellent. Apart from Los Angeles county, A People’s Choice can help you file probate in many other counties including:
- San Bernardino
- Santa Monica
- San Diego
- San Francisco
Consequently, if you need to file probate in L.A. county, we encourage you to contact A People’s Choice. Having our non-attorney probate document preparation service will allow you to complete the complex process without the stress of doing it on your own. Furthermore, you will save thousands of dollars using our probate services compared to Los Angeles probate attorneys. Not to mention, the beneficiaries will save money and time spent checking out for assistance in the super lawyers’ magazine. Call us today at 800-747-2780 for information about how we can help.