Encino Probate LawyerRespectful Representation During the Probate Process in Encino
The probate process can be daunting, complex, and emotionally fraught, especially if a loved one passed away without essential estate planning documents in place. Additionally, if you find yourself named as the executor or administrator of the estate, you will be immediately faced with significant responsibilities. Fulfilling your legal obligations can put a strain on you and your family while you are already dealing with a death.
You don’t have to navigate the process alone. At Tisser Law Group, APC, our attorneys can provide you with comprehensive guidance through the entirety of the probate process.
What is Probate?
Probate is the formal, court-supervised process of administering a deceased person’s estate. A probate proceeding is necessary when there are assets in a deceased person’s name (rather than a trust) which do not have designated beneficiaries, joint owners or other transfer-on-death designations.
In this situation, a named executor in a will, or an appointed administrator of an estate without a will, must petition a court for authority over the deceased’s assets. This estate representative will establish authority over assets, pay off any debts of the estate, determine who will receive the remaining assets, and make the appropriate distributions.
Give us a call at (818) 226-9125 to discuss your concerns with a knowledgeable Encino probate attorney.
Avoiding Probate in Encino, CA
The complexity of the probate process can have many people wonder if there’s any way for their estates to avoid the process entirely. California laws allow for methods to mitigate the effect of probate on one’s estate, or avoid it entirely in some cases.
Some ways of mitigating or avoiding probate include:
- Gifting assets
- Creating a living trust
- Using right of survivorship to transfer property owned jointly
- Creating beneficiaries designations for retirement accounts
- Adding a Payable-on-Death (POD) designation to accounts
- Registering a vehicle as Transfer-on-Death
Additionally, estates (excluding real estate) valued at less than $166,250 total are not required to go through probate in California.
Responsibilities of the Probate Representative
The personal representative has many different responsibilities during the probate process, which is important to consider if you have been named the executor.
These responsibilities include:
- Identifying and appraising of all the estate assets
- Notifying any creditors of the probate process
- Preparing and filing tax returns of the deceased person
- Paying outstanding bills and debts of the estate
- Locating heirs and other beneficiaries
- Distributing assets to beneficiaries and closing the estate
If the will is challenged during the probate process, you will be responsible for defending the will. Your decisions as an administrator can also be challenged by beneficiaries, which can lead to litigation.
The process can seem complex and overwhelming, especially if you have never handled probate administration before. That is why you should reach out to an attorney with experience in probate law. At Tisser Law Group, APC, our probate lawyers can assist you to ensure you are fulfilling your duties as an executor in compliance with both federal and California state law.
If you would like to speak with a skilled Encino probate lawyer at Tisser Law Group, APC, contact our firm now.