Probate

The loss of a loved one is without a doubt a difficult time.  The grief alone involved in the passing of a loved one can be all-consuming, and if this is combined with the need for the probate process, it absolutely makes sense if you’re overwhelmed.  Snyder Law can help alleviate some of the stress involved with the probate process so that you can take the appropriate time and care to grieve for and remember your loved one.

 

In simple terms, probate is the court process required to handle a deceased individual’s affairs when that individual had a will, or passed away without an estate plan at all.  The probate court will:

  • Determine whether a will is valid
  • Appoint an individual to manage the estate
    • If the deceased left a will, this person is called an executor.
    • If the deceased passed without a will, or “intestate,” this person is called an administrator.
  • Inventory and appraise the estate property
  • Pay debts and taxes
  • Administer the transfer of property and assets to beneficiaries as directed by the will, or heirs as determined by California law.

 

If an individual did not have a trust, and had assets in their estate totaling over $150,000, the estate must be probated.  Most people have a negative connotation with the probate process because it is time-consuming (the probate process lasts anywhere from 18 months-2 years), expensive (court fees are generally 3-7% of the value of the estate), and public.  For these reasons, and due to the uncertainty of leaving the probate court to decide what happens to your loved one’s estate, headache and heartache can occur.  Estate planning with a trust can avoid the probate process.  However, if you find yourself already in the probate process, Snyder Law can help minimize the confusion and heartache associated with probate so that your loved one’s affairs are wrapped up as efficiently as possible in a way that still provides your family with the peace of mind they deserve.

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The word probate on a stamp on a big folder of paperwork

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