Thousand Oaks Probate Attorney
Purpose of Probate Administration
Probate administration refers to the court-supervised procedure of distributing a decedent's properties and assets. More often than not, probate is required whenever someone dies with assets titled in their own name that exceeds a sum gross value of $150,000.00. The purpose of the probate court is to gather the deceased's assets, inventory the estate, and determine who is entitled to receive said assets and properties.
Probate is not only lengthy and expensive (the cost depends upon the size and complexity of the estate), but it is often complicated due to legal requirements and procedures. Proper administration of a probate estate requires court appearances, as well as intimate knowledge of the laws and procedures in place.
If you need more information or assistance with probate administration, contact our Thousand Oaks probate lawyers at (805) 495-3444.
Probate Administration without a Will
Probate administration is likely to occur whenever an individual dies with assets titled in his or her individual name. When a person dies intestate, or without a will, the State of California must decide how a deceased's estate is to be divided. According to California law, the estate will firstly be distributed to the spouse, followed by the children, parents (if there are no children), and siblings (if there are no children or parents).
Items that do not pass through probate are trusts, joint property, gifts, and estates worth less than $150,000. A few examples of items excluded from the calculation of the $150,000 include joint tenancy property, community property with right of survivorship, half of all other community property, life insurance death benefits, retirement assets such as IRAs and 401(k)s, motor vehicles, multiple party accounts, and real property that is outside the State of California.
Probate Administration with a Will
When a person dies testate, or with a will, the court simply oversees the administration and distribution of the decedent's assets pursuant to the terms of that will. A will by itself will not avoid probate. A properly funded revocable living trust will avoid the probate process.
How a Probate Lawyer in Thousand Oaks Can Help
Probate is the act of transferring ownership of a decedent's property and assets to beneficiaries listed in the deceased's will. If a person dies without a will, their estate will be divided according to state law. Probate, although time consuming, is not necessarily a horrible process. If the decedent created a valid estate plan prior to their death, and the beneficiaries/heirs do not dispute what is stated in the plan, probate may be avoided entirely, or become considerably easier. Pederson Law Offices has years of probate law experience.
We are capable of assisting clients in all areas of probate law, but we strive to assist with:
- Probate Administration: If you have recently lost a loved one, or have been named an executor or administrator of an estate, you may need assistance with probate administration. There are many steps that must be completed before you divide the assets according to the decedent's will or state law. If these steps are done incorrectly, the probate process may be delayed.
- Avoiding Probate: Creating an estate plan may help you avoid putting your family through the probate process. Certain types of trusts, accounts, ownerships, and gifts do not pass through probate court and will therefore save your family time, money, and possible disagreements. Probate may take over a year to resolve, and legal and property transfer fees may be more expensive than you think.
- Probate Process: The probate process includes filling out and filing copious amounts of paperwork prior to administering the estate. All of these documents must be filled out and given to the court in order to begin probate administration. Some actions require proof of their completion, which must also be presented to the court before the estate can be administered.
Contact Pederson Law Offices!
If you wish to prepare for your estate's probate or have recently lost a loved one and are now facing the probate process, our firm can help. Our founding attorney has been serving Ventura County residents since 1978 and continues to offer exceptional legal assistance and representation.
Although probate can be completed without a lawyer, it may be beneficial for you to seek our attorneys' assistance. We have the ability to make the entire probate process easier, and possibly quicker, as well as create legal documents for a client's estate plan.
If you are interested in finding out what our firm can do for you, contact our office today at (805) 495-3444.