Probate is the legal process of settling an estate. When an estate “goes through probate” the court system oversees the distribution of assets to heirs and makes sure all of the deceased’s debts are paid off. When a will is involved, the property is distributed as specified by the will. If the deceased did not have a will, the court will follow state law to settle the estate. The probate process can also be used to challenge a will.
There is a common misconception that probate is a long, expensive process but that’s not necessarily true. Probate can be relatively fast and inexpensive when:
In most other cases, probate is a lengthy process, averaging 16 months, depending on the estate’s complexity. Extremely complicated estates can result in years of probate.
Probate cannot be avoided in California. Even if there is a valid will, the estate will still be subject to probate.
The costs associated with probate include:
The best way to facilitate the probate process is to have a will drawn up. Desert Law Group’s probate services include the drafting of last wills and testaments, estate plans, and trusts. We also offer legal representation for families going through the probate process, handling much of the paperwork, helping them understand the process, and explaining their options.
Probate can be a very lengthy and complicated process, but you do not have to manage it on your own. The estate planning attorneys at Desert Law Group can facilitate the process for you, ensuring all of your legal obligations are met and you are not unduly stressed by the process. Early planning is key to avoiding a messy probate process. It is important to create a will or establish a trust before losing mental capacity or death.
To learn more about our Probate services, please call our Palm Spring’s office at 760-776-9977 or use the form below to contact us.