What is a Probate?
Probate is the legal process of administering a will. It is also the judicially supervised process for marshaling decedent’s assets, paying debts, and distributing the remaining assets to the persons entitled to them.
What is an “administrator” in a probate process?
Administrator is a person appointed by the court to administer the estate of a person who died without a will. Family members often serve as administrators.
What is an “executor”?
Executor is a person named in a will to carry out the directions set forth in the will. This person is the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.
What are the general steps of a probate procedure?
The legal process of probate begins with a filing a petition, which is a request to open the estate and name a personal representative who will be responsible for the administration of the deceased person’s property. The next major step is to notify creditors and interested parties of the administration of the estate. Creditors will then have a stated amount of time to file their claims. Upon receipt of the claims, the personal representative of the estate will pay the just debts, if there are sufficient funds in the estate, and distribute the remaining estate to beneficiaries. After the distribution of the estate, a petition for final discharge is filed to close the estate.
Do you need a lawyer for the probate in California?
The probate process may sound simple, but there are so many legal requirements that the probate is difficult to navigate without help of an experienced probate attorney. California probate laws, handling the estate by the personal representative, and dealing with court procedures is a complex system and a difficult task, which should be performed jointly by the personal representative, a California attorney, and a tax professional. If you are currently dealing with a probate or an estate-related matter, or if you may soon have to deal with such matters, it is important that you consult an experienced lawyer that handles California probate law. Our Orange County probate attorneys will make this process easier and less stressful for you.
How to start a probate?
Probate case begins with filing of a petition for probate at the court in the county where the decedent lived. The petition is usually prepared by the attorney for the petitioner. Petitioner is the person who wants to become the administrator or the executor. The petition for probate provides details about the person who passed away, about the petitioner, about heirs, as well as about the size of the estate. Contact our Orange County probate attorney for more information on the probate process.
How can you see the will of a person who has died?
If the estate is in probate, you can go to the superior court in the county in which the decedent lived and see the file. The file will include the will and all other documents that have been filed in the probate case. Orange County Superior Court now has case documents available for viewing on the computers in their clerk’s office, which made viewing the file much easier and faster.