Alameda County Probate Attorney Ready To Help

Probate is the process by which a decedent's assets are distributed among beneficiaries. Probate can be lengthy and costly; however, it is generally necessary in cases where the decedent's assets exceed a fair market value of $150,000. If the deceased individual had a valid trust in place, it may allow you to avoid probate entirely. However, the estates of individuals who have passed away without a will are subject to the laws of intestate succession. This means that the laws of the state of California determine how and when creditors are paid through the estate, and how and when beneficiaries are given legal ownership to assets of the estate.

Steps Involved In The California Probate Process

The probate process in California can be broken down into five basic steps; however, each step may be lengthy and complex on its own.

  1. Validating the Will. In California there are certain formalities that must be followed in the witnessing of a will. If those formalities are not followed, it is possible to still have the will probated. If the decedent's will is found to be invalid for reasons such as coercion, incapacity or duress, the estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestate succession after administration of the estate.
  2. Naming of the Executor. An executor of the estate, who will oversee the distribution of assets, will be named according to the terms of your will.
  3. Taking Inventory of the Estate. The executor will take an inventory of all the assets held by the deceased individual's estate, and establish the fair market value for each, usually with the help of a probate referee who is assigned to the case by the court.
  4. Resolving Claims Against the Estate. If there are any debts owed by the decedent or claims against the estate, they will be resolved.
  5. Distribution of Assets. At the end of the probate process, the decedent's remaining assets are then distributed amongst the beneficiaries.

Unfortunately, each of these steps can take a significant amount of time, and in very high net worth cases, or in cases where a will is contested, the probate process can last years.

Contact An Experienced Bay-Area Probate Lawyer Today

Avoiding probate whenever possible is key to reducing the costs of executing an estate. Through the process of estate planning, an individual can set up a will and a variety of trusts aimed at eliminating the probate process and/or making the execution of the estate as simple and straightforward as possible. At the Law Offices of Angelo J. Lagorio, we understand the laws surrounding probate cases in California and can provide our expertise and resources to individuals who are planning their estate or who are currently facing probate.

Contact Us To Meet With Attorney Angelo Lagorio

Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case by calling 925-750-8757. Our goal is to provide you with the information and legal advice you need to be able to make informed decisions about important matters that have the potential to significantly impact you and your loved ones. We have an office in Fremont to serve you better.