Helping Clients Through The Probate Process In California
Although the term “probate” can be intimidating to people, it is actually not that complicated of a process. Probate refers to the period after someone’s death in which the will and other estate planning documents are handled, debts are paid and beneficiaries receive their inheritances. If you are a beneficiary or if you have been designated to be the will executor or estate administrator, it is helpful to work with an attorney who can guide you through the process and protect your interests along the way.
At the Law Offices of William M. Nassar & Associates Inc, we combine experience and knowledge with a deeply client-centered approach. Our head lawyer has more than 30 years of legal experience and a dedication to providing personally tailored, responsive legal care for our clients. When you work with the Law Offices of William M. Nassar & Associates Inc, you are our number one priority.
The Probate Process Overview
Although each stage in the process presents its own complications and nuances, the basic probate process moves forward like this:
- Initial petition and hearing: After filing the petition for probate, there is an initial hearing in which the judge will grant an order for probate and recognize the representative, etc. This is the official beginning of the probate process.
- Creditors’ claim period: After the initial hearing, letters are sent out to creditors giving them notice. Then they file any claims they might have. The estate administrator then pays off the valid claims from the estate.
- Final accounting: After the debts are paid, the administrator files the petition for final accounting and the judge will look over the accounts and, assuming everything is in order, sign off on the accounting. Part of this hearing includes the order approving the final distribution and accounting, which confirms the beneficiaries and what they will receive from the estate.
- Distribution of assets: According to the final distribution approved by the court, the administrator will distribute the assets to the beneficiaries.
- Final discharge order: After all of the assets are distributed, the court will sign the final discharge order and the process is complete.
There are many challenges and potential legal snares along this process, but we will help you through it. Beneficiaries want to make sure they receive what they are entitled to receive, and executors/administrators want to make sure they are following the legal process exactly. Any mistake could result in criminal sanctions or civil claims.