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Understanding Your Rights In California Probate

A carefully created estate plan means that most families can avoid probate when the creator of the plan passes. However, not everyone has written a last will and testament, placed their assets into a trust, assigned beneficiaries to their accounts or named an executor for their estate.

At the Law Office of Raoul J. LeClerc in Oroville, estate administration lawyer Raoul LeClerc and his paralegal Danielle work together to help people who are facing the California probate process. Whether you just need to understand your rights during this process or need help acting as the estate administrator, we can help and evaluate probate matters in Butte County.

A General Overview of the California Probate Process

Each estate and each family is different, so the probate process can vary somewhat. However, there are eight steps that are common to the California probate process. These are:

  1. The petition for probate is filed in probate court.
  2. The heirs are notified of the proceeding.
  3. An executor is appointed in accordance with the will, or an administrator is appointed by the court if there is no will or no executor named in the will.
  4. The executor or administrator conducts an appraisal and an inventory of all of the assets.
  5. The executor or administrator pays off all debts owed by the estate.
  6. The executor or administrator pays any estate taxes.
  7. The executor or administrator distributes the assets to the heirs as dictated in the will or per California law if there is no will.

While this process does take time, typically six months, it can move forward smoothly if there are no unexpected assets or disputes. Probate takes longer for larger estates that include multiple properties, are enmeshed in a dispute or will contest, or include out-of-state property. We also advise on related issues such as conservatorships and wills and trusts.

Trust Administration Services

In addition to our general guidance in probate and estate administration matters, we also assist clients in matters pertaining to the administration of a trust. Whether you are the beneficiary of a trust and have concerns about the way a trust is being handled, or you are a trustee who is charged with administering the trust, we can evaluate your situation and provide you with advice based upon your specific case and needs.

Get the Personal Attention and Guidance You Need

Whether you just need some questions answered, need someone to guide you through the process, or want to oversee or administer your loved one’s estate, we are here for you. Call 530-427-7319 or connect with us via our website contact form. Our office is located in Oroville, and we, Raoul and Danielle, serve clients throughout Butte County.