When a family member dies, you may be left wondering what will happen to any property or other assets they leave behind. For example, you might be asking:
Bridge Legal’s Los Angeles probate attorney has the answers.
“Probate” may be a word you never hear until a loved one passes away. Probate is the process by which a deceased person’s estate is settled, including resolving all claims and distributing all assets.
If your family member established a will or trust while they were living, these documents typically dictate how their assets will be distributed, and a lengthy probate process may not be necessary. However, under California law, when someone passes away without a will or trust and the value of their estate is over a certain amount, their assets will likely need to be distributed through a court-supervised process.
The first step a court usually takes in the probate process is to appoint an administrator (e.g., a representative) who will be responsible for taking inventory of all the assets and for carrying out the court’s orders regarding the distribution of the estate. When a person dies without a will in the State of California, the distribution of assets is determined according to state law.
The probate administration process typically takes anywhere from nine months to two years to complete. During this time, the assets involved can be frozen, meaning that no one can access them until the probate process is complete. The process will also include specific court-related fees and costs.
It is crucial to hire an experienced Los Angeles probate lawyer who can help you understand every step of the process, represent you in court and help keep the process running smoothly to avoid delays.
As you may imagine, the distribution of financial or real property assets after a loved one’s death can be a challenging and emotional process. Family members often disagree with each other, with the probate court’s decision or with how their deceased family member’s estate is administered.
Even if your family member leaves a will or trust specifying what will happen with their estate after their death, surviving family members may want to contest these terms. This is particularly true if someone believes their relative was physically or mentally impaired and may have been unduly influenced by another person when the will or trust was established.
Bridge Legal regularly represents clients in complicated probate and trust disputes. We are committed to advocating on your behalf with respect for your loved one’s final wishes, and we fight with honesty and integrity to help family members reach mutually acceptable solutions.
Hiring an experienced Los Angeles probate attorney is critical to protect your interests and address your concerns at every stage of the probate process. If you are facing the death of a loved one and are not sure what to do next, contact us or by phone or text today for a free consultation.