Being named the executor of an estate can be overwhelming. There is a lot to take care of in order to make sure an estate is distributed properly and that taxes and creditors are appropriately paid. If one has not been through this before it can be difficult to know where to begin. To make the process easier, the first thing an executor should do before filing a case in a California probate court is to take inventory of assets, debts and legal documents.
A vital step in ensuring that an estate is properly distributed to beneficiaries is making sure a will is valid. The will validation process can take time in some cases, while in others it may be completed rather quickly. California residents who need help with this can seek assistance from an experienced attorney.
If one's biggest asset is a home and there are no debts or tax concerns that need to be settled in court, it may be possible to take certain measures during the estate planning process that can help surviving family members avoid litigation following one's death. Avoiding probate is a goal for many California residents. No one wants to put their loved ones through it if it is not necessary. In some cases, a simple change while one is alive is all that is needed to have his or her estate avoid probate.
After a loved one passes on, there are so many things that must be dealt with, it can seem overwhelming. Upon hearing the word probate, a lot of unpleasant thoughts are likely to race through one's head. The truth is, probate does not have to be a scary or intimidating thing. Knowledge is power, and knowing what to expect can make the probate process easier with which to deal. In that spirit, this column will answer some common questions California residents have about probate.
Just about every will goes through the process of probate. Probate allows the courts to verify the legitimacy of the document, settle debts and distribute assets. This can be a difficult process for a number of reasons, from the emotional toll it can take on your family to the legal complexities that can arise.