Probate is the legal process used to transfer title to assets upon death. The Superior Court supervises the payment of debts, taxes, and probate fees. The Court also resolves all claims against the estate and distributes the deceased person’s property, either according to a valid Will or by statutory rules (known as “Intestacy Rules”) in the absence of a Will.
The most common misconception about Probate is that if you have a Will, you do not have to go through the Probate process. This is actually the exact opposite of how Probate works! A Will, by definition, must go through Probate. The Probate Court rules on the validity of a deceased person’s Will, interprets the instructions of the deceased, appoints an executor or personal representative of the estate, and then decides the interests of heirs and other parties who may have claims against the estate.
The Probate process has many pitfalls which can only be avoided with the help qualified Probate attorney. A simple Probate, without any complications, will still take approximately nine months to one year to be completed. However, if there are mistakes or complications, a Probate can be delayed up to three or more years, depending on the severity of the mistake or the degree of complication. Delays in the Probate system have been further compounded by budget cutbacks, which have strained the court system’s resources and reduced the available number of Probate courts from twelve down to a single court in Downtown Los Angeles.
Our team of Probate Attorneys can help you avoid those time-consuming pitfalls and mistakes, and make sure that your case gets through the Probate court as quickly as possible. Our Probate team is headed up by Samuel Ledwitz, who is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Less than one percent of all attorneys in California are certified Probate specialists.
We represent executors and administrators of an estate who require appointment by a Probate Court. Once appointed, we can work closely with you to:
- Publish your estate
- Bond your estate
- Protect your assets during the probate process
- Collect and inventory your assets
- Help value your assets
- Pay debts, taxes and expenses of the estate
- Address beneficiary questions and concerns
- Resolve disputes
- Give notice to creditors
- Resolve creditor claims
- Sell real property
- File an accounting with the court
- Make final distribution of the assets