Probate is court proceeding where the judge determines the validity of someone’s will as well as determine to whom a person’s assets are to be transferred upon their death. The probate proceeding takes a minimum of six months to complete, but may take more than a year depending on the complexity of the estate and issues that may arise with creditors, family members, and the administrator’s ability to handle these issues. Probate involves filing many legal forms, consistent court appearances, and constant court supervision—it is time-consuming and costly to the estate.
Fortunately, there is a multitude of legal techniques that can be used to avoid probate altogether or distribute a bulk of the assets free of court supervision. The Law Offices of Gabriel Lenhart will guide you through the process of which assets must be involved with the probate process and whether affidavits may be filed to bypass the process entirely.
The Law Offices of Gabriel Lenhart are experienced in providing the following probate administration services:
Probate - legal representation during a probate process is highly recommended as the court procedure for administering an estate is very detail-oriented, paperwork-heavy, and riddled with potential pitfalls that can delay the administration severely. Additionally, the administrator of the estate may be held personally liable for any mistakes made during the probate process resulting in additional fees and lawsuits against the administrator.
Spousal Property Petition - a legal document which may be used to compel the courts to provide a court order retitling assets from a deceased spouse’s name to a surviving spouse and usually only requires one court appearance. This document may be used to avoid probate entirely.
Small Estate Affidavit - a legal document which may be used to avoid probate entirely for estates that do not exceed the limits set forth in the California Probate Code, currently $150,000 or less of personal property and $50,000.