Frequently Asked Questions About Probate
In addition to emotional grief after a loved one’s death, legal and financial matters can be overwhelming. California’s probate laws are difficult for most people to understand, especially if they now apply to a very personal situation.
At Ruben Law Firm, we help clients complete the probate process as efficiently as possible. Our probate lawyers are ready to resolve the challenges of litigation, distributing assets fairly and more.
Is probate necessary if there is a will?
All estates must pass through probate – even if there is a valid will – unless there are no assets within the estate. However, the process is slightly simplified if the will specifies certain decisions.
What are the steps of probate?
With or without a will, the probate process will always include the following steps:
- The person who has an original copy of the will, if applicable, files it with the court.
- The court chooses someone to serve as the executor.
- The executor gathers all assets that belong to the estate.
- The executor formally notifies heirs and creditors, including a public notice of the death.
- The executor settles estate debts and pays any necessary maintenance bills.
- The executor files an accounting statement with the court.
- The executor oversees the distribution of assets according to the will or intestate law.
There are various issues that could arise along the way, such as a false creditor claim or a skeptical heir concerned about the validity of the will. Therefore, this process could also involve litigation or disputes.
Why should I work with a lawyer for probate and estate administration?
No matter how simple or complex an estate might be, a lawyer can make the entire process easier. Because there are a variety of issues to address, including personal issues such as longstanding family conflicts, an attorney can help you solve problems with a neutral approach.
As an executor, you must fulfill your legal obligations to serve the interests of the estate. We can help you overcome any challenges in your way so that you can focus on carrying out your loved one’s wishes properly.