Do You Need an Attorney for California Probate?

Probate is the process of determining the rights and obligations of a person's finances and legal matters after they pass. It includes debt resolution and clearing of titles, which must all be accomplished before a single family member can receive any part of the decedent's assets. In addition, taxes and creditors must be paid off before distributions can be made to beneficiaries. In California, this can take between nine months to two years.

In cases where there is an existing valid Will, the testator nominated an executor to oversee the estate. Executors have great responsibilities and are highly at risk for liability. We strongly recommend executors to contact us as soon as possible. Usually we will then petition the court to appoint the family member as the administrator of the estate.

As the probate attorney, we will assist the administrator to:

  • Obtain a probate bond
  • Protect assets throughout the process
  • Prepare an inventory, collect and value assets
  • Pay the required expense of the estate as well as taxes and debts
  • Communicate all beneficiary concerns
  • Give notice to creditors and resolve issues such as creditor claims
  • Sell property, file an accounting, and distribute the assets

A valid Living Trust does not require probate.

It is the most valuable tool you can use to protect your assets. If the total value of your estate is $166,250 or more, your estate will have to be probated.

Probate is one of the most complex areas of law. At First Class Counsel, we truly care about the outcome of your case. Do not hesitate to reach out and permit us to navigate you through this complicated process. We are well-versed in California probate law and proficient at clearing up the legalese for you and your loved ones. Our goal is to guide you through this process with as little stress and difficulty as possible. Each case is handled on a one-on-one basis. We are committed to client-focused advocacy and work with you by going through all of the possible options. Your case will be handled with the utmost care and consideration for your needs.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one can understandably create a very difficult time for you and your family. In addition to dealing with the loss emotionally, you must also deal with the legal aspects of the loss. Helping you understand your rights and legal options is our priority. We also ensure that you are not wrongfully overlooked during the distribution process, by litigating on your behalf tenaciously.

Probate is an overwhelming process, no one should ever face such a complex process without counsel and advice from a knowledgeable attorney who truly cares for their benefit. Do not settle for less than the highest quality legal advice. When it comes to probate law, you deserve great representation.

Probate is also an expensive process, often taking a year or longer. To eliminate the high cost, it is necessary to plan properly, which means if you are a homeowner, you need an Estate Plan immediately to take care of your loved ones for the present and the future.

At First Class Counsel, we will design a plan to assist you in avoiding exorbitant costs associated with probate courts in the state. Just one of those costs involves the legal fees, which are set out by state law in California. Take a look below at what your family may wind up paying if you don’t take the basic steps necessary to plan your estate ahead of time:

  • 4% of the first $100,000 of the gross value of the probate estate
  • 3% of the next $100,000
  • 2% of the next $800,000
  • 1% of the next $9 million
  • .5% of the next $15 million
  • A reasonable amount (determined by the court) for any amounts higher than $25 million

If a person passes away with an estate worth $1 million, the probate services from an attorney would cost $23,000. That’s because the legal fees would total as follows:

  • First $100,000 – $4,000
  • Next $100,000 – $3,000
  • Next $800,000 – $16,000

In addition, the value of the estate is viewed from the gross value of the assets. That means that, for instance, if the person who passes away owns a home that’s worth $800,000 but he or she still owes $400,000 on that property, the value of that asset in the probate estate would remain at $800,000. In effect, the debt on that property does not exist.

When a loved one passes away, we urge you to please give us a call. We offer emotional comfort with a simple explanation of what must be done immediately and what can be handled at a later time, when you are feeling better from the tremendous loss of a loved one.

First Class Counsel is here to serve you with an excellent track record. Our probate lawyers have a reputation for being through and knowledgeable.

Why Work with First Class Counsel?

We take the time to learn about you and your family’s unique needs and desires.
Our skilled attorneys handle each case on a one-on-one basis, exploring the best options that suit your individual needs.
We are here to serve you as our courteous staff work hard so you don’t have to.