Probate

Probate

Even if you are handling or facing a probate situation now involving a loved one, it is not too late to avoid probate for YOU. You can draft an estate plan by setting up a revocable living trust to avoid probate when you pass away. Everyone needs a trust including all the famous celebrities. Remember when Michael Jackson or Prince died? Their estates went to probate court because they did not do pre-planning with an attorney to set up a revocable living trust. We can consult and advise clients who is a heir in a probate case to ensure that the probate is being handled properly by the court appointed personal representative. We can also be hired to remove a wayward court appointed personal representative or otherwise challenge a probate case where there are sufficient legal grounds for the challenge.

WHAT IS PROBATE?

Probate is required if a person has no Will. Probate is also required even if a person has a Will. Probate is required unless a person takes steps to avoid probate. Probate is “proving the will” through a court proceeding. If there is no will, the decedent’s property will pass to the decedent’s heirs according to California law. Probate is an archaic process to collect the decedent’s assets, pay his bills, and distribute the decedent’s assets to the rightful heirs. Notice must be given to relatives and creditors. Property cannot be distributed without the Judge’s approval.

WHO ARE THE PLAYERS?

  • Executor: The executor is the person named in the decedent’s will as the manager of the estate.
  • Administrator: The administrator is a court appointed executor. If the decedent had no will, the administrator will act as the manager of the estate.
  • Beneficiary: The person named to receive the proceeds from the decedent’s will.
  • Heirs: Any person, including a surviving spouse, who is entitled to take property of the decedent.
  • Issue: All of the decedent’s lineal descendants of all generations.
  • Probate Estate: All of the decedent’s property required to go through probate.

IS PROBATE EXPENSIVE?

Probate is very expensive. Any estate with a value of $150,000 or more, or with real estate with a value over $50,000 is subject to probate. The minimum probate statutory fee of an estate with a value of $200,000, is $14,000.

HOW LONG DOES PROBATE TAKE?

In addition to being expensive in terms of money, probate takes time. The smallest of estates takes 18 months. Marilyn Monroe’s probate took 39 years. John Wayne’s probate took over 20 years. Because of the California budget crisis, probates are taking longer and becoming more expensive.

WHY USE THE LAW OFFICES OF W. BAILEY SMITH FOR PROBATE?

We have over 40 years experience drafting and administering trusts. Our years of experience help us ensure your probate needs are met. Please call (949) 756-0684 for your complimentary consultation today.