Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Probate
Peter Rasla & Associates, P.L.C.
Probate can be a complex, stressful, and drawn-out process to go through.
When the estate is large and has multiple property and bank accounts,
probate can become especially complicated. The team at Peter Rasla &
Associates, P.L.C. has the ability to help clients
successfully navigate through the probate process, while keeping them informed
and educated on their process and relevant laws.
Learn More About Probate
What is probate?
After an individual dies, their assets are transferred to any beneficiaries
or heirs, a process called probate. This is a legal process that is performed
in the deceased person's county court. The validity of the deceased
person's will must be proved, or the court will distribute their property
according to California's intestate laws if a will was not left behind.
In both scenarios, an executor will oversee the process.
What is an executor and what are their duties?
An executor is the individual who the court appoints to either follow
the terms set forth by the deceased person's will, or to make decisions
for the decedent when there is no will. The executor will have to identify
all of the decedent's assets, and determine which of the assets must
go through probate. They will then have to value the assets of the estate,
including any unpaid debt.
The executor must also set up a checking account, pay all debts, bills,
taxes, and valid claims against the estate. This will require research
to ensure that the claims are legal. Once all debts have been paid, the
executor must administer the remaining assets to the proper people. If
the executor does not properly carry out their duties, they will be held
liable for any resulting damages.
How long does probate take?
The probate process does not have a fixed time limit. Typically, the process
takes anywhere from a few months to one year. Different factors can make
the process take longer, such as the size of the estate, how long it takes
to find a will, and how long it takes to appoint an executor and notify
the beneficiaries of the decedent. If the will is contested, the probate
process will continue until all matters are resolved, which could end
up taking years.
Can probate be avoided?
While the creation of a will still requires probate because its validity
must be established, creating a living trust is one way to
avoid probate. Living trusts can protect property and assets from probate, and when
you appoint a beneficiary in a living trust, the beneficiary obtains ownership
of the property. Once you pass away, your property can easily be passed
on the designated beneficiary. Trusts are also effective ways to protect
your assets from creditors and reduce taxes and probate costs.
If you own property with someone else and you pass away, the property will
automatically go to the other owner without having to go through probate.
There are a few different types of joint ownership, so you can determine
the type that is ideal for your situation.
Get answers from an Irvine probate attorney. Call (949) 390-9994!
While probate may be a complex area of law to navigate through, the team
at Peter Rasla & Associates, P.L.C. possesses the skills, resources,
and tools needed to help you successfully navigate through your legal process.
Whether you are going through probate, want to learn how to avoid probate,
or are involved in a probate dispute,
contact the firm
today to see how an Irvine probate attorney may be able to assist you!
The team is proud to offer potential clients
free case evaluations
, so do not wait to schedule yours today!