What is a Probate in California?

Planning for death can be difficult to do, but it can also be very valuable to plan for what will happen when a life is over. This is possible through the creation of an estate plan that accounts for what to do with an individual’s assets after they pass away. A very important part in estate administration is probate. Probate is the process of determining whether or not a will is a valid document. It also comes to a conclusion about the value of their assets as well as any outstanding debts or taxes. The estate administration process begins after an individual dies, starting with the process of probate. When an individual in California passes away, there is a chance that they created an estate plan and a written will that must go through probate. It is important to seek legal counsel in order to guide you through the estate administration process.

Filing a Will to Probate

When an estate plan is created, an individual may appoint an executor to take care of the administrative responsibilities. To begin this process, the executor must file the deceased’s will with the Surrogate Court in the county they lived in. This may require the executor to provide the court with the death certificate, the probate petition, as well as other documents. Once the will is filed, any beneficiaries of the estate will receive information of where the probate will occur.

The process of probate will determine if an individual’s will is a valid document. When a person creates a will, there are guidelines that must be followed in order for it to be considered legal in the state of California. The trustor is required to sign the will in front of witnesses when they are mentally competent and not being forced to do so.  If these rules are not met, a will may not pass the probate process. If the court concludes that the will is valid, the estate administration process may continue.

Closing an Estate

When a will passes the probate process, its executor is able to continue the duties that are required of them to administer the remaining estate plans. To do so, they must file a Petition for Final Distribution. Once a judge approves the petition and issues an order, the executor may pay off outstanding debts, file remaining taxes, take care of any contests to the will, and distribute assets to their beneficiaries. When this is done, the executor requests that the court dismiss them from their job. Only after this is the probate process considered done and the estate may be closed.

Contact our Firm

If you have been assigned as an executor and are required to take care of an estate, contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman today.

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Office of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most.Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.