Probate Lawyers Los Angeles
If you have recently had a loved one pass away, we understand it can be a difficult time. However, addressing legal matters during a period of grief is unfortunately sometimes a necessity; McFarlin LLP experienced probate attorneys are available to help you through the challenges of probate.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process where the court supervises an orderly transfer of a deceased person’s assets to the beneficiaries listed in his or her will, if a will was prepared. Before property can be distributed to the heirs of the deceased it must often pass through the Probate Court to make the transfer of these assets legal.
The Probate Court Process
When a person passes away (the “Decedent”) with ownership of valuable assets, the process of transferring those assets can be complicated. The person in charge of the transfer and distribution of assets is called an “executor.” The responsibilities of the executor include the following:
- Prove Authenticity of the Will
- Get Approved by the Court to Act on Behalf of the Estate
- Inventory Decedent’s Assets
- Value Decedent’s Assets (Appraisal)
- Pay Decedent’s Outstanding Debts/Taxes
- Distribute Assets According to Decedent’s Wishes
Probate is a particularly difficult process because of the emotional aspects involved with inventorying, valuing and distributing a loved one’s assets. Having an experienced probate attorney to work with can make the process run smoother, and take the uncertainty away. McFarlin LLP probate attorneys can take the emotional burden off you, as the executor, and make everything run smoother for a faster, more efficient resolution.
How Long Does Probate Take?
Probate typically can not be completed in less than six months, and generally should not take more than one year. If the Probate process is to take more than one year, the executor or personal representative must file an estate tax return and provide a status report to the Court. Circumstances that lead to a longer probate process include:
- A Will Contest
- Changing of Executors
- Highly Complex Estate
- Large Number or Value of Estate Assets
- Hard to Find Beneficiaries
In these circumstances, probate can drag on for years, however, the involvement of a qualified probate attorney can often lead to faster solutions.
In a small number of Probate cases, the will, or the Decedent’s true wishes, are called into question and a probate lawsuit results. Unfortunately, when money and valuable assets are involved, even family members sometimes end up in court. Generally the larger and more valuable the estate the more likely probate litigation may result, especially when there are a great number of potential heirs.
Many probate litigation cases involve the family of the decedent seeking to recover property from an “outsider” such as a friend or caregiver. In any event, any type of probate litigation can be daunting, especially right after the loss of a loved one. McFarlin LLP probate litigation attorneys are sensitive to your situation and will work to resolve your matter quickly and effectively.
Let Our California Probate Lawyers Assist You
If you are searching for a Probate Attorney, chances are you may be struggling with some difficult and emotional decisions. McFarlin LLP southern California probate attorneys can help you through this difficult time throughout California . Our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys are available now for a free initial probate consultation. Contact us today (888) 728 0044, or email us.