Home / Practice Areas / Probate Administration Probate Administration Attorney California When Is Probate Required? Dealing with the death of a family member or partner is always difficult. Making it even more challenging is the question of how to handle the deceased person’s estate. If an estate in California includes at least $150,000 in combined value, the estate must go into probate. The Legacy Lawyers regularly helps grieving loved ones navigate California probate rules to ensure that the estate administration process goes as smoothly as possible. Retaining the services of an attorney can give tremendous peace of mind during what can be an otherwise difficult time. A Brief Overlook of Probate Probate is simply a means of determining the distribution of a deceased person’s estate. This is accomplished with the assistance of the probate court. If the deceased person had a valid will or trust, those documents will communicate the intentions of the decedent, including how to administer the estate. A decedent’s will may express their preference of a family member, friend, or trusted advisor to administrate and fulfill the decedent’s wishes as outlined in the will or trust documents. This person is referred to the executor or executrix, and they serve as the personal representative of the estate. Many people accept the role of executor or executrix of a will, or trustee of a trust, without realizing the potential complexities of probate. For this reason, they often choose to work with a trusted law firm instead of undertaking the complicated probate process. When Is Probate Necessary? Not every estate is required to enter probate. If a person dies and leaves behind less than $150,000 of combined estate value, the estate is not required to enter probate. However, it is not difficult to accumulate $150,000 or more of possessions. In California, a person’s estate can include residences, vehicles, mineral rights, undeveloped real estate, motorcycles, boats, investments, and other assets. A probate administration lawyer will assist surviving loved ones with a determination of the total estate value, as some assets may be exempt from probate. For instance, if an eligible asset was left to a named beneficiary, as is often the case with life insurance policies, then that item will not count toward the $150,000 minimum. An Overview of the Probate Administration Legal Process In most cases, the executor or executrix of the decedent’s will is required to file the appropriate documents with the probate court. In the event there is no will available, an interested party should consult with a probate attorney to review the available options of filing an estate with the probate court. After opening probate with the assistance of an attorney, the executors or administrators will assist in the identification, collection, and appraisal of assets. Additionally, the probate attorney will provide guidance for resolving any debt with available estate funds, as well as assist with determination of rightful heirs. The probate process can be a long process that is time-consuming and quite involved depending upon the number of beneficiaries, types of estate assets, availability of personal information, as well as a host of other factors. The fee for working with a knowledgeable probate attorney at The Legacy Lawyers follows the formula outlined by California Probate Code Section 10810. In some cases, a probate court may make the remuneration higher if the case is particularly involved. Reasonable compensation for probate of estates which exceed $25 million will also be determined by the courts. Benefits of Hiring an Experienced California Probate Lawyer For many people tasked with the responsibility of handling the affairs of a decedent’s estate, the experience can seem overwhelming. Our knowledgeable legal team at The Legacy Lawyers is committed to simplifying the process. We do all the heavy lifting for executors and administrators to keep things on track, and give them the pros and cons necessary to make good decisions along the way. If you are interested in reviewing a probate matter or begin the probate process in the state of California, please contact The Legacy Lawyers at (800) 840-1998 to schedule a free initial consultation. Contact Us Full Name*Email* Phone*How Can We Help? This iframe contains the logic required to handle Ajax powered Gravity Forms. Read More Sorry, we couldn't find any posts. Please try a different search. Search for: Videos Sorry, we couldn't find any posts. Please try a different search. Search for: Schedule a free consultation by calling (800) 840-1998.