A California probate lawyer is an integral part of estate planning for residents of the Golden State. The probate process is a necessary requirement used to establish values of decedent estates, settle outstanding debts, and distribute inheritance property to rightful heirs. Every estate must undergo probate unless decedents’ establish a trust.
A California probate lawyer understands the intricacies of California probate code, which is one of the most complex legal issues in existence. California probate consists of eleven divisions and includes hundreds of pages of rules and regulations. Few people are qualified to undergo the probate process without legal counsel.
Individuals require the services of California probate attorneys for a variety of reasons. Probate lawyers specialize in estate planning and estate management. They can assist clients with executing a valid last will and testament; establish healthcare directives; appoint power of attorney rights; establish trusts; and implement strategies to protect inheritance property and avoid probate.
California probate lawyers offer solutions to individuals with small estates which can minimize the probate process. They offer guidance to those needing to protect multiple assets such as real estate holdings, business ownership, trademarks and copyrighted material, and financial portfolios. Estate administrators can retain law firms to manage California probate conservatorship and provide guidance throughout the process.
In the state of California, estates valued below $100,000 are exempt from probate. However, California probate law requires the designation of an probate personal representative to oversee estate management duties and distribution of inheritance property according to directives outlined within the decedent’s last will.
People oftentimes procrastinate about estate planning. Dying without executing a legal will (intestate) places a heavy burden on family members. Intestate probate estates are considerably more time consuming than testate estates. Not only do intestate estates take longer to settle, they can also be more costly.
Estate administration duties vary depending on the type of inheritance property involved, value of the estate, and family dynamics. If heirs contest the decedent’s Will, probate can extend for months. Contesting a last will rarely accomplishes anything more than creating extensive family turmoil while fattening the wallets of probate attorneys. Estates are often bankrupted from expensive legal fees; leaving nothing for intended beneficiaries.
It is best to consult with three or more California estate planning lawyers. It is best to work with attorneys whose personalities match yours or the appointed probate administrator. Estate executors may have to spend considerable time with the law firm handling your estate.
When planning ahead, do your best to find a good lawyer who is compassionate, yet effective with time management. There is nothing worse than working with an insensitive lawyer while grieving the loss of a loved one.
Individuals in need of a California probate lawyer to manage the estate of a loved who has recently passed do not have the luxury of interviewing multiple attorneys. Those who need to hire a lawyer quickly can locate California law firms through the American Bar Association website at ABANet.org.