Some individuals attempt to navigate the probate process on their own. They work on it without asking for help from an expert – despite the level of difficulty of the legal jargon. However, they end up hiring a probate attorney in La Jolla, CA, realizing it is complex for them to handle.
In this post, we are sharing with you the answers to some of the frequently asked questions about probate and some compelling reasons why you may need the help of a probate attorney in La Jolla, CA.
Is the probate process always required in California?
If the total value of the probate-able asset is more than USD 166,250, you need to go to court and undergo this formal process to be appointed. If it is less than that value, the probate process is voluntary. You may seek the court’s intervention in things like getting rid of all creditors’ claims, settling a dispute on who is supposed to get what, and determining who should be in charge.
Is probate applicable only to people who died with a will? What if there is no will?
First and foremost, you should understand that not all assets are subject to probate. These non-probate-able assets may include those accounts with another name in them (co-owners), a house held as joint tenants, among others. When one of the co-owners dies, by operation of law, the other one automatically succeeds to that property – although some paper words still must be done.
So, going back to the question, the answer is NO. The probate process applies to people who died with a will and those who died without one. If you have been named an executor, chances are you will go to court to apply for probate. The process gives you the authority to distribute the estate according to the instructions in the will.
If there is no will, the probate court will distribute the assets based on California’s intestate succession law. The court will distribute the assets based on next of kin, except for out-of-state real estate.
Are the estate representatives paid?
Yes, executors and administrators – both considered personal representatives – are paid. The fees that personal representatives and attorneys earn are right on our statutes and are on our probate code. It uses the gross value of an estate for the charges – 4% on the first hundred thousand dollars, 3% on the next hundred dollars – well, you get the idea.
More details on “statutory fee” can be found here: Cal. Probate Code § § 10810, 10811
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