Probate is the judicial process whereby there is proof of a will in a court of law, and there is acceptance. The probate makes a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased. Moreover, the estate settled according to the laws of intestacy in the state of residence of the dead at the time of death.
The legal process of managing a decedent’s estate, resolving any claims, and distributing the decedent’s property by a will begins with the granting of probate. First, a probate court decides the legal validity of a testator. After that, it grants its approval. Once the will goes through probation, it becomes a binding legal document. Moreover, the executor may use this document to their advantage in court, if necessary. Furthermore, probate officially names the executor (or personal representative), typically in the will; and grants them the authority to distribute the testator’s assets by the terms of choice. However, one may contest a will during the probate procedure.
Who is a probate lawyer?
A state-licensed attorney assists the beneficiaries and executors of an estate. In settling the decedent’s affairs is also a probate lawyer. However, if all of the decedent’s assets are in a trust, one may occasionally avoid probate. A trust can guarantee a smooth property transfer without going through a court or legal process.
When a person dies, one must distribute their asset by applicable state laws and the instructions outlined in their will when living. A probate lawyer guides an estate’s beneficiaries or executors through the probation process and helps with everything from identifying beneficiaries and estate assets to allocating assets and inheritances.
The probate lawyer will often start by proving the will to ensure it is legal if the decedent left a choice. Then, the attorney will examine the documents to ensure they are appropriate. A choice may be invalid by the court if:
- The testator (the person who made the will) did not sign it in line with state rules, establishing criteria for witnesses.
- When preparing the will, the testator had limited mental capacity.
- The testator forcefully submits to another’s will because of duress (threats or coercion).
- It wasn’t very ethical.
What will happen if there is no Will?
Obtain a copy of the death certificate for the deceased.
Submit a Petition for Probate to the county probate court for the deceased person—for instance, Los Angeles Superior Court – Probate Division.
Attend the hearing at your will.
Obtain letters of administration allowing you to operate on behalf of the estate once your Petition for Probate receives approval;
Determine, collect, and list all of the decedent’s assets.
Pay the debts and taxes owed by the deceased.
Account to the court and ask for a decree for distribution at the end
Pay yourself as the Estate’s Administrator and your attorney by the court’s order.
As directed by the court, distribute any leftover assets to family members, heirs, and beneficiaries.
Abandon the estate
Because the California state probate code is clear about how assets should be allocated, it can generally be simpler to settle an estate without a will. However, other processes can be necessary if there is no will specifying how certain assets should be allocated. For instance, if the deceased has real estate and were alive through several children who didn’t want to share ownership, the property would likely need to sell, and the revenues would be distributed among the heirs by the probate code.