Guiding You Through The Probate Process
Probate is essentially nothing more than a court-supervised transfer of title of assets to the named individuals. The court distributes the deceased’s assets according to a will, if there is one. In the absence of a will, the court distributes the assets according to heirs using the predetermined framework under state law.
At the Encino, California, law office of Law Offices of Gerald L. Kane we understand that the loss of a loved one is a very difficult time. But our personal family attorneys will make the probate experience easy, efficient and expedited so you can focus on recovering emotionally from your loss. We will handle most of the time-consuming work on your behalf and will ensure that all the paperwork is completed accurately, which minimizes time wasted in court.
Do you need help administering a trust? We can assist you with identifying assets, notifying heirs and beneficiaries of the trust, communicating with beneficiaries, preparing tax returns, and more.
What is the Probate Process?
The probate process begins with the executor of a will filing a petition with the court to “open” the probate. If there is no will, an administrator is nominated by the decedent’s heirs and approved by the court. Once the probate is opened, the court provides paperwork (known as letters), that state the executor or administrator has authority to act on behalf of the estate ¾ to open accounts, locate assets, transfer them to the probate estate, and in some cases, sell assets.
How Long Does the Process Take?
Due to the requirement of two court hearings and a congested court system, probate in California usually takes at least 9 months. However, not all probate actions are exactly identical. More often than not, the larger the estate, the more involved the process. It is not uncommon for probate to take over a year.
What Does Probate Cost?
Probate can be costly. Attorneys and executors are generally paid a statutory fee based on the size of the estate. Other costs include filing fees, appraiser fees and certified copies. The court may require that the executor post a bond, unless waived in the will, or all beneficiaries waive the posting of the bond and the court approves. At Law Offices of Gerald L. Kane, we will help reduce the cost of probate as much as possible.
Get In Touch Today
To discuss probate with an experienced probate lawyer, please schedule a no obligation initial consultation with the Encino estate planning Law Offices of Gerald L. Kane. We can be reached by phone at 818-905-6088 or by e-mail, and we are open to weeknight or Saturday appointments. We look forward to meeting you and to seeing you at our frequent estate planning seminars as well.