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:
- The petition for probate is filed in probate court.
- The heirs are notified of the proceeding.
- 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.
- The executor or administrator conducts an appraisal and an inventory of all of the assets.
- The executor or administrator pays off all debts owed by the estate.
- The executor or administrator pays any estate taxes.
- 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.
What is Probate & Estate Administration?
Probate & Estate Administration is the process of settling an individual’s estate following their death. This includes identifying and collecting assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the rightful heirs.
Who is responsible for handling Probate & Estate Administration?
Typically, a Probate/Estate Administrator, sometimes referred to as a Estate/Trust Executor or Personal Representative, is responsible for handling Probate & Estate Administration. This individual is typically name in the deceased’s will or listed in a court order.
Is it possible to avoid the Probate process?
Yes – It is possible to avoid the Probate & Estate Administration process by:
- Setting up a trust; or:
- Establishing legal joint ownership of assets.
These options are typically implemented to ensure that assets are transferred to the intended beneficiaries as quickly as possible in the event of a death.
What are the benefits of hiring an attorney for Probate & Estate Administration?
- Our attorneys can help guide you through the complex Probate & Estate Administration process.
- We will work to ensure that the probate process is completed in a timely and accurate manner.
- The probate & estate attorneys at The Law Office of Raoul J. LeClerc can also provide helpful insight into the legal implications of the estate
- We are here to help protect the interests of the estate’s heirs as fairly as possible.
If you’re seeking representation regarding the probate and estate process, or representation in probate & estate litigation in the Greater Chico & Yuba City areas, call The Law Offices of Raoul J. LeClerc today at 530-427-7319.
What services does The Law Office of Raoul J. Leclerc provide for Probate & Estate Administration in Chico and Yuba City?
At our law firm, we provide comprehensive legal services for Probate & Estate Administration in Chico, Yuba City, throughout Butte County and Northern California. Our experienced probate & estate administration attorneys can help you navigate the probate process and ensure that all debts & taxes are paid in accordance with the law, assets are distributed according to the wishes of the deceased party, and the estate is settled in a timely, efficient and fair manner.
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.