Open Probate Without a Will in Los Angeles County
Do you need to open probate in California without a will?
When a person dies without leaving a will, this is known as dying “intestate.” In this case, the deceased person’s estate must go through the probate process.
Probate is how the court establishes heirs, settles debt, and distributes property such as real estate and personal property.
The Probate Process
The process begins when the probate court or a surviving family member, also known as the probate administrator, files a petition to open probate. Suppose a will is not found or is incomplete. In that case, the court will establish an executor that will be given letters testamentary to act on behalf of the decedent. This executor is usually the closest living relative or someone who will inherit part of the probate estate.
Specific probate laws vary by state, but in general, an established will is “granted” by the court, which means it is deemed valid or authentic. If no will is present, intestate succession laws determine the distribution of assets.
In most cases, a surviving spouse will inherit all community property if the decedent did not leave any children. If there are children, the spouse will inherit joint-owned property. Then, the separate property of the deceased will be distributed evenly between the spouse and children. This distribution occurs after all assets are accounted for, and debts are settled.
Administering the Estate
Once the executor or administrator is chosen, they are the responsible party for administering the estate. This first means posting public notice of hearing dates so that any heirs or creditors who wish to attend may do so. The executor must also find and notify all legal heirs.
Next, they will make a record and enumerate all real property assets for the court record. All credits and debts will then be paid from the estate by the executor. And finally, the executor will submit all documents to the court and distribute all remaining assets to heirs. Once all debts have been paid and assets distributed, the executor will file to close probate.
Being an executor does not require any special legal knowledge, only that the person acts in the deceased's best interest. It is commonly known that the probate process can be quite complicated, depending on the size and complexities of the estate. Even when a will is present and straightforward, it is always wise to seek legal advice from a probate lawyer.
There are many steps to the probate process, and paperwork must be filled out and filed correctly to ensure a smooth process. It is the job of a probate lawyer to ensure that these laws and procedures are followed correctly in each state.
The Legacy Lawyers
At The Legacy Lawyers, we are especially skilled in the probate process in Los Angeles. It is our goal to ensure a quick and stress-free experience for family and loved ones, leaving you with peace of mind.
We have a proven record of strategies designed to cut your time in probate while maximizing your benefits considerably.
Choosing to work with the Legacy Lawyers ensures that all probate paperwork will be filed correctly. We will also post notices in a timely manner and attend hearings for you. These court hearings will be handled professionally, and the estate will be administered legally and efficiently.
There is no upfront cost of working with The Legacy Lawyers aside from paying the initial petition filing fee. All attorney fees will be paid from the estate at the close of probate.
Call The Legacy Lawyers today to schedule a consultation if you need assistance with opening probate without a will in Los Angeles County, California.
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