Probate: What to Expect When Your Loved One Dies Without a Trust
Are you preparing for the probate process in San Diego County? If your family member or loved one passed away without trust(s) in place, a significant portion of their estate may need to go through probate. It is important to know what to expect. At The Law Office of Kris Mukherji, we want to make sure you have the tools and resources you need to protect your interests. In this article, our San Diego probate law attorney explains the key things to know about what you can expect if your loved one passed away without a trust in California.
An Overview of Probate in San Diego County, California
Probate is handled at the county level in California. As described by the Superior Court of California for the County of San Diego, probate is a “court-supervised process” during which a deceased person’s assets are gathered, their remaining debts are paid, and their property is distributed to the proper heirs. There are six basic required steps in the probate process in California:
- Filing of a Probate Petition: A petition to open up probate should be filed by the executor of the will or the personal representative of the estate of the deceased.
- Notices to Interested Parties: Next, notice should be sent to all interested parties. Most importantly, notices must be sent to legal heirs and implicated creditors.
- Prove the Validity of the Will: The court will review and assess the will. The will may need to be “proved” or it may be “self-proving.” If there is no valid will, then the estate will be handled under California’s intestacy laws.
- Collect Property and Assets: The executor/personal representative will be given authority by the court to collect all of the decedent’s property and assets. It is crucial that all assets are identified.
- Pay Remaining Debts and Expenses: Creditor claims will be evaluated and all remaining debts and expenses must be paid. Among other things, this includes any estate taxes or other tax liability.
- Settled the Estate and Distribute Assets: Finally, the last step of the probate process in California is the settlement of the asset. Once the estate is finalized, the property can be distributed to the proper heirs.
As you may have heard before, probate has the potential to be a long and frustrating process. A dispute could arise during any of the six steps—from challenge of the will to an aggressive claim from an outside creditor to a disagreement between beneficiaries. A San Diego, CA probate law attorney can help you and your family navigate the process.
Call Our California Probate Lawyer for Immediate Help
At The Law Office of Kris Mukherji, our San Diego probate lawyer has the professional skills and legal knowledge that you can trust. If you have any questions about what to expect during the probate process, we can help. Contact us now for a confidential case evaluation. With a law office in La Jolla, we provide probate law services throughout the region, including in San Diego County.