After someone you love passes away in Mission Viejo, CA, their entire estate must pass through a legal process known as probate. Probate includes complex state and federal laws that must be followed meticulously; otherwise, the state will take over the entire process. Generally, most people are not well informed on probate and struggle to understand the varying legal aspects that go into it. Because of this, it’s vital to hire one of our experienced probate attorneys who can guide you through the process.
Probate is an overwhelming process that is difficult to handle while grieving someone you love. At Sakamoto & Ruelas, APC, our probate services prioritize client-focused support. Our team shares more than two decades of experience, helping us to provide empathetic and effective estate administration assistance. We know that losing someone close to you can be devastating, which is why we are prepared to help you navigate the legal aspects of it all. For dependable probate services that can help ease your anxiety, see how our lawyers can assist you.
No matter what state you live in, all of your assets must go through probate when you pass away. Probate is a legal method that evaluates a deceased person’s estate, addresses their debts, and distributes their assets. Occasionally, probate is not needed when an individual owns very little assets, or they put all of their belongings into trusts.
In the majority of cases, however, probate is used to pay off all remaining debts of the deceased and then divide their remaining assets how they wish. Probate often lasts for a long period of time and cannot be completed until all legal aspects of an estate are addressed. This is why having a lawyer on your side is always helpful. The general probate process in California occurs as follows:
In California, you have the opportunity to dictate how your assets are divided by creating a will or another type of estate plan. If you form a legal estate plan, the individuals who are in charge of administering your estate can do so according to your wishes. However, if you do not have an official estate plan at the time of your passing, the probate process must be taken over by the state government. When this happens, the process may move slower, and assets will have to be distributed according to California inheritance laws. This means that even if you had certain wishes that you voiced, the state can’t acknowledge them unless you had a legal estate plan in place.
Probate tends to be a long process because it involves a variety of lengthy legal proceedings. In addition to these proceedings, California also gives creditors one full year to collect their debts or dispute any claims with the estate. After creditors gather their payments, the actual asset distribution process can also take months. If someone that you loved recently passed in California, you can expect the probate process to take at least a year before it can be finalized.
Legally, you are not required to hire an attorney during probate in California. However, most legal professionals and family members will strongly suggest that you hire a probate lawyer who can help you handle everything you’ll be dealing with. Working with a probate attorney who has experience in estate administration can benefit you in a variety of ways, from helping you prove a will is valid to ensuring all legal details are discussed properly.
Most probate lawyers, like our team at Sakamoto & Ruelas, APC, are experienced in estate planning, estate and trust administration, and probate. This allows us to assist our clients with drafting wills, proving the validity of estate plans, initiating the probate process, and even administering assets. We also have the skills needed to represent you when disputes arise during the process. If you’re unsure of whether or not our proficient probate lawyers can help you, don’t be afraid to ask how we can help.
Estate plans are legal documents that detail an individual’s final wishes for when they are no longer here. An estate plan can include multiple documents or just a will, but it must be formed in a state-approved matter in order for it to be valid. By creating a will or another form of an estate plan, you can outline personal wishes such as funeral requests, how you’d like your assets divided, and who you’d like your assets to go to. Estate plans are the most optimal way to ensure that your wishes are recognized after you pass. If you pass away without an estate plan, your wishes cannot legally be recognized, and the state will divide your assets according to general inheritance laws.
At Sakamoto & Ruelas, APC, we have worked tirelessly to create a strong representation surrounding our southern California legal services. With comprehensive insight into estate planning and administration law, our Mission Viejo lawyers offer superior probate assistance and support. Whether you’re involved in a dispute with another beneficiary, or you were assigned as the executor of an estate, it’s never too early to reach out for help during probate in California.
Contact our lawyers at Sakamoto & Ruelas, APC, for reliable probate guidance in Mission Viejo.