Hiring A Probate Attorney
Facing the death of a loved one is never easy and having to go through the probate process can make it overwhelming. The Lawyer in Blue Jeans firm specializes in estate planning and probate law. That’s all we do! Our experience in managing probate cases and working with the San Diego probate courts ensures that your probate will go as smoothly as possible.
Probate court can be a complex undertaking, whether your loved one has left a will or not. It can be extremely time consuming for one to handle on their own with all of the paperwork and legal compliances that may be foreign to someone who hasn’t done this before. Hiring an experienced probate attorney is a great way to make navigating the probate process easier on everyone involved.
A Probate Attorney Can Provide Expert Guidance
Navigating the probate process can be difficult but an experienced probate attorney can help to guide loved ones who have been designated as executors, administrators or personal representatives of an estate.
Probate attorneys can help with various steps in the probate process, including:
- Accounting the estate’s inventory
- Maintaining estate assets
- Selling or transferring estate property as necessary
- Resolving remaining debt
- Filing estate taxes
- Distributing assets to heirs and beneficiaries
The Final Ruling
Everyone should avoid putting their family and loved ones through the stressful process of probate. Probate requires a deceased individuals’ loved ones to go through reams of paperwork, spend time in and out of courthouses, and take personal time to settle an estate.
Individuals need to find a trusted attorney who is well-versed and experienced in all aspects of Revocable Living Trusts and Estate Planning, and set-up an Estate Plan to safeguard their assets and wealth. With a proper Estate Plan, individuals maintain control and protect their families for years to come.
How Much Does a Probate Attorney Cost?
According to California Probate Code Sections, the personal representative (executor) is entitled to compensation and the attorney is entitled to a statutory fee. The compensation to the personal representative and the statutory fee to the attorney are based on a percentage of the value of the gross probate estate. Download the full California probate fees document and see the table below for estates up to $1,000,000
California Probate Attorney Statutory Fees
|GROSS PROBATE ESTATE||VALUE EXECUTOR’S COMPENSATION||ATTORNEY’S FEE|
Funds Freeze When an Estate is in Probate
Having a last will and testament can help an executor navigate the bureaucracy of probate court by providing guidance as to a deceased individual’s wishes, but it will still require an executor to go through the laborious and stressful probate process. With a will, probate often takes more than a year.
During the period in which an estate is held in probate, the bank accounts, assets, and property are unavailable to the deceased individual’s family and inheritors. The beneficiaries of the estate can be left in a state of uncertainty and frustration as the estate is held to settle debts, taxes, and go through the routine government bureaucracy. The rest of the funds are only released when the court decides, and all pending matters are settled.
Assets in Separate States Complicate Probate
If a deceased individual owned assets or real estate in more than one state, things get even more complicated and drawn out. Each state has its own laws and regulations when it comes to probate. Attorney fees will begin to compound as an executor will have to navigate state-specific rules and multiple probates.
If an executor is from out of state or city, that person must go back and forth to attend court hearings, sign paperwork, and be present for any other court-supervised mediation.
This can be time-consuming, expensive, and cumbersome for anyone, especially a family member or spouse who is still grieving.
Are There Any Benefits to Probate?
The probate court aims to ensure the fair, equitable administration of a person’s estate. The probate court also establishes a platform for a deceased individual’s heirs, loved ones, family members, and others to bring a claim to the estate in an organized and supervised manner.
Although the government does attempt to do a fair and equitable job, some cases will unfortunately involve various difficult legal, financial and emotional circumstances that can complicate the probate process.
A probate attorney can be an invaluable asset should questions arise involving issues such as:
- The mental capacity of the decedent at the time the will was drawn up
- Accusations involving the use of undue influence, elder abuse or deception regarding the deceased
- Determining the value of any property or assets included in the estate
- Assuring that the executor correctly executed the will
- Potential commingling of estate and personal assets
Often when claims arise against an estate, this can mean emotions running high and this is where costly mistakes can sometimes be made. Having an experienced probate attorney to provide guidance can help to mitigate these situations and avoid those mistakes, making the entire experience proceed smoothly.
Consulting a Probate Attorney Just Makes Sense
When you find yourself facing the intimidating prospect of working through the probate process, perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is assuming you can handle everything yourself. Navigating that legal minefield can be difficult in the best of times but even more so in the emotional aftermath of a loved one’s death. Hiring an attorney who specializes in probate matters can make all the difference, allowing you to breathe easier knowing that you are in the best possible hands.
Probate attorneys have a thorough understanding of all the state and federal laws governing the disbursement of estates and are prepared to handle any type of will contests. You can trust our experienced probate attorneys to handle your case with care and understanding. We know how difficult this time can be for you and we’re ready to help you navigate the probate process and get everything resolved as easily as possible.