What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process to transfer or inherit property from a decedent to the beneficiaries. It is commonly started by an heir, relative or friend.
The probate process involves a court case dealing with the following:
- Evaluating the validity of a will. Is the will valid? Or invalid?
- Gathering the decedent’s assets
- Paying the decedent’s debts, outstanding expenses, and taxes.
- Distributing the remaining estate to the rightful beneficiaries listed in the decedent’s will
- Transferring the decedent’s property to the heirs and/or beneficiaries.
In order to start the probate process, one must usually go to court. Dealing with the court is a very complicated process. However, in certain cases, the decedent’s property can be transferred without filing for probate nor going to court. Nevertheless, it is always wise to consult an experienced probate attorney to determine if the estate qualifies for probate, or if a different procedure should be used.
If the decedent left a will, then the probate court appoints an executor. However, if there is not a will, then an administrator is appointed by the probate court. The administrator/executor is responsible to gather the decedent’s assets, pay the decedent’s debts, and distribute the remaining estate to the rightful beneficiaries. This entire proceeding is conducted under the direct supervision of the court and makes up the probate process. The probate process can range from 9 months to1 year, but sometimes even longer depending on its complexity.
For more information on Wills, Probate, Trusts and Estate Litigation, contact the Law Office of Antoniette Jauregui 909-890-2350 or fill out a Request for a Free Initial Consultation.