Probate Estates

What is probate administration?

Probate administration occurs when a loved one (or decedent) dies, and his or her estate’s assets do not have a trust. The assets then may need to be administered through probate. The court may appoint a personal representative (or executor/administrator) to take care of the decedent’s estate. The personal representatives has various duties, such as protecting estate assets, paying creditors or resolving creditor claims, and providing information to the court as well as beneficiaries. Administering an estate can be a complex process and may require the assistance of an attorney to help determine the right course of action.

 

Who can inherit assets from probate?

If the decedent has left a will behind, then the estate will be distributed according to this will. If there is no will from the decedent, the California law designates who will receive an inheritance from the estate. The law can be complicated to interpret. At Healy & Associates, we can help determine who the heirs of an estate are and how to go about administering an estate with or without a will.

 

What are the costs of probate?

Attorney’s fees for probate are paid out of the estate once the estate is closed, meaning clients don’t have to come up with attorney’s fees at the beginning of the case nor pay them out of their own pocket. California law delineates how much an attorney will be paid from probate. This is as follows: 4% for the first $100,000 value of the estate, 2% on the next $800,000, and 1% on assets over $1 million. These are basic fees. The court may designate extraordinary fees if there are services rendered by the attorney that are above and beyond basic practice.

 

When do you need a probate attorney?

It is ideal to work with an attorney experienced in probate to assure that your case is handled effectively and without error. At Healy & Associates, we can provide you with expert legal advice to interpret California law and ensure that the probate process is as smooth and efficient as possible. The probate process can be quite complicated if you are not experienced with such matters. Call us today at 714-442-1522 for any questions you have or for a free consultation.