When a person passes away, there is a court process that happens known as probate. The purpose of this process is to manage the estate and distribute the assets based on the California Probate Code.
Even though probate is designed to help with asset management and distribution, it can be a stressful and complicated process – especially when a person passes away without a will or an estate plan. So, it’s best to be proactive about preparing for the future, so you can minimize any issues and stress for your family.
What Happens During Probate?
There are several specific steps that will happen during probate:
- Assets are identified and documented
- Assets are liquidated, if needed
- Beneficiaries and heirs are determined
- Assets are distributed to the determined heirs
- Debts are paid to creditors
- Taxes are paid, including individual tax and estate tax
- The administrator, executor, and/or attorney is paid
Most estates must go through this probate process, especially if there was no trust in place. If the deceased was a California resident or owned property in California, then probate is necessary. There are a few things that you can do to have certain assets that are exempt from this process.
Tips for Managing Probate in California
Having the right support is the key factor that will affect your experience going through the probate process. Even though you can find online information about DIY probate, nothing compares to the services you can receive from an experienced attorney. So, the first tip is to hire a probate attorney as soon as possible.
Planning ahead is key to reducing the stress and complication of probate. Every person, regardless of their age, should have a trust and estate plan in place. This will help you avoid the probate process.
Finally, make sure that you are complying with all of the instructions and taking a proactive approach to follow the court’s orders. The judge will oversee this process to ensure that everything is distributed according to the estate plan and determinations of the court (if necessary).
Call the Probate Experts
When you need help navigating probate, Shoup Legal is just a call away. Not only can we assist as you are going through probate, but we also offer services you can use in advance to minimize the complications of probate in the future. Contact us at (951) 455-4114 or by email at [email protected] to learn more about how we can help you plan today for peace of mind tomorrow.