Probate is the legal procedure used to transfer title to assets upon death. The Superior Court supervises the payment of debts, taxes and probate fees, and resolves all claims and distributes the deceased person’s property, either under a valid will or in the absence of one.
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. A will, by definition, must go through Probate. The probate court decides 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 rules on the interests of heirs and other parties who may have claims against the estate.
The probate process has many pitfalls, which require the help of a qualified probate attorney. A simple probate, without any complications, will take approximately nine months to one year to be completed. However, if there are mistakes or complications a probate can be delayed and take as long as three or more years to be completed, depending on the severity of the mistake or complication. These delays can also be compounded if the court has suffered budget cutbacks, which have strained the courts resources.
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 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.
You can be confident knowing that you have a team with a certified specialist working for you. 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