The Probate Process

Thousand Oaks Probate Lawyer

When a person creates a will, they usually name an executor. This individual is in charge of administering the decedent's estate, and must begin the probate process by filing the will, other mandatory documents, and a petition for probate with the probate court. When the will is proven valid, the court issues letters testamentary, allowing the executor to administer the estate.

Prior to gathering the estate's assets, it is advised that the executor establishes a filing system and applies for a taxpayer identification number for the estate. This way, papers are not lost during the process, and the executor can pay necessary taxes on the estate.

If you have been named an executor or administer for a loved one's probate, contact a Thousand Oaks, CA probate attorney from our firm today!

Overview of the Process

Once the paperwork and will are filed with the probate court, the administration process begins. The executor must inventory and appraise all probate property, and file these items with the court. In California, most probates are handled under the Independent Administration of Estates Act, which allows the executor to handle a majority of probate without permission from the probate court. An executor is also in charge of managing and safeguarding the estate's assets while probate is taking place.

This means that the estate must be insured and maintained, and all heirlooms must be protected from theft or damage. Income and estate taxes must also be paid prior to distributing assets to beneficiaries. In the event that the deceased did not leave enough liquid money to pay for taxes, parts of the estate may need to be sold. Once taxes are paid and creditors can no longer file claims, the estate may be closed. This is when the properties and assets are distributed according to the decedent's will or pursuant to state law, if the decedent died without a will.

Need probate assistance?

Hiring an experienced attorney can make the probate process much more manageable than trying to complete it on your own. A lawyer from our firm has the ability to complete and file all necessary paperwork on an executor's behalf. Deadlines will always be met, and we can ensure that the probate process will be completed as quickly as possible.

Please contact our firm today at (805) 495-3444 if you wish to hire one of our attorneys to help you and your family through an area of probate.

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