A loved one’s passing is something we’ve all experienced.
With how profound the loss is and how devastating it can be for some families, the last thing your loved ones should have to deal with is legal complications to claim their estate.
In the event of accidental death, your family will have to go through the process of Probate administration if the person either left a Will (died testate), or did not leave a Will (died intestate). The process can be painstaking, but an attorney that is experienced in Probate administration can certainly protect the family and the deceased person’s interests.
WHAT IS PROBATE ADMINISTRATION?
After a loved one passes away, someone has to go through probate to manage and distribute a deceased individual’s assets. The probate process refers to the process of filing a Will in court and administering the estate, or filing paperwork for someone who did not leave a Will.
Who Will Go Through Probate Administration?
Though most people associate probate proceedings with a testamentary will, intestate estates (when a person dies without a will) can also go through the probate process.
The process of Probate Administration typically looks like:
- Proves the validity of your will
- Identifies your property
- Appraises property if needed
- Pays off debts and taxes
- Distributes assets
- Transfers titles
AN OVERVIEW OF THE PROBATE PROCESS
The probate process can be a long cycle that is tedious depending upon the number of beneficiaries, types of estate assets, availability of personal information, as well as a host of other factors.
By and large, the executor of the decedent’s will is required to file the appropriate documents with the probate court. In the event there is no will available, an interested party should consult with a probate attorney to review the available options of probating an estate with the probate court.
Once a person’s probate is opened, the executors or administrators assist in the process of identifying, accumulating, and appraising assets. A probate attorney can also help settle any debts with available funds by administering the estate, and help determine who are the rightful heirs.
HOW LONG DOES PROBATE TAKE AND HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The length of probate differs. This can be an extensive and time-consuming process, and some matters take upwards of a year to get everything in order and concluded.
According to California state law, representative and attorney fees range from 4% each on the first $100,000 per asset to 1% on those worth up to one million dollars or more. These fees are called statutory fees. We have a probate calculator on our website that can help you determine the probate fees if you know the value of the estate.
The courts in California may grant additional fees for services that go beyond the scope of a standard probate administration. A probate case may also incur administrative costs between $1,000 and $2,000 depending on the complexity of the case and the county.
Fortunately, the executor and attorney fees are only paid once the estate is closed. As a result of this framework, you won’t have to provide funds up front.
As soon as the case is ready for closure, your attorney will submit a petition to the court requesting payments. Upon the court’s approval, the executor pays their fees and reimburses any out-of-pocket expenses directly from the funds of the estate.
WHY PROBATE CAN BE COMPLICATED?
- Your Family Might Have No Immediate Access to Cash. It can take weeks or even months to access a deceased person’s cash. Your heirs can be stuck footing the bill for everything from the funeral to your household utilities during that time if your estate is probated. Your family will also be unable to access your bank accounts during this period.
- A Probate Judge Can Get in the Way. Court approval is often required for every little step during the probate process, including running or selling the deceased person’s business, repairing or selling real estate, or abandoning worthless assets, such as timeshares with high annual maintenance fees.
- Probate can cost a lot of money. Courts throughout the country are susceptible to financial crises, and when money is tight, they often look for potential sources of revenue. Raising court filing fees, including probate fees, is one method of raising funds.
HOW A PROBATE ATTORNEY CAN MAKE THE PROBATE PROCESS SIMPLER
As you age and come close to retirement, probate becomes more and more likely. A probate lawyer can make a significant difference in how your family feels about the situation when the time comes.
A Probate Attorney Can:
- Provide protection against probate litigation by making sure that all claims against the estate are valid claims. A knowledgeable attorney will also ensure that the beneficiary will not have to worry about lawsuits in the future to recover money from a creditor of the estate once the money is distributed to them.
- Help you understand the complex probate process and enable you to effectively make important legal decisions.
- Act as a guide for executors and help to streamline the process. This also helps shield the executor from personal liability for making uninformed decisions, even when their intentions are noble.
- Make sure you understand the technical details of probate so you don’t commit unnecessary errors.
- Get a quicker court initial hearing date. Probate attorneys familiar with the probate code have a way of expediting matters that a layperson is not aware for. For example, in the Sacramento probate court, it can take approximately 5-6 months from an initial filing to get a hearing date. However, probate attorneys at our firm are able to recite a specific code section that allows our attorneys to get a hearing date 30-45 days from the initial filing.
WHY CHOOSE KLOSEK LAW AS YOUR PROBATE ADMINISTRATION ATTORNEY?
- If you are responsible for handling your decedent’s estate, the experience can seem overwhelming. Klosek Offices’ knowledgeable legal team is committed to simplifying the process for you. We handle all the heavy lifting for executors and administrators to keep things on track.
- Probate matters are our specialty, so we pick up on details other attorneys might miss. We make sure you have full knowledge of the pros and cons of every option you choose during the entire probate process.
- Whenever possible, we at the Klosek Law Offices expedite the process to make sure your loved one’s affairs are handled legally and ethically so that they can move on with their lives. This includes getting an initial hearing date 30-45 days, whereas someone not experienced with the probate law will get a hearing date 5-6 months from the initial filing of paperwork.
- Throughout the process, we provide compassionate legal guidance to help you make informed decisions about what is best for your situation right now and for the future of your family.
- Our experience in this area allows us to perform all necessary functions on your behalf at your convenience and save you time. We will guide you through this process step by step and make sure that the process is done correctly. We are the probate attorneys you can trust to get the process done fast and accurately.
LET OUR PROBATE LAWYERS HELP YOU NAVIGATE THE PROBATE PROCESS WITH EASE
We regularly help family members navigate the California probate rules to ensure that the estate administration process goes as smoothly as possible. Retaining the services of our attorneys will ensure your family has the support it needs during an extremely difficult time.
If you are interested in reviewing a probate matter or beginning the probate process, please contact Klosek Law offices to schedule an initial consultation.