The time after the loss of a loved one can be emotionally fraught. As difficult as it is to deal with a family member's death, many people must go through the grieving process while also handling the deceased's estate. If you are like most people in California, this may be the first and only time you deal with the probate process, which can be extremely difficult.
Probate is the legal process in which a court approves the transfer of a deceased person's property to beneficiaries and heirs. Estates whose owners took the time to carefully prepare their estate -- including wills and other important documents -- tend to pass through probate rather quickly and without a hitch. However, a significant number of people fail to adequately estate plan, which can cause serious problems for executors.
A number of issues can complicate the probate process. Whether the problem is seemingly small or monumental, it can grind the process to a halt, leaving heirs without their intended inheritance. Some of the most common probate issues include:
- Assets that cannot be located
- Missing titles to homes or cars
- Unclear or contradictory wording in wills
- Confusing legal process
Grieving a lost loved one is emotionally draining enough without the added pressure of handling their estate. Most people in California find it incredibly helpful to face probate with the helpful guidance of a counsel who is experienced in estate law, and understands all of the involved complexities that affect how an estate is handled. This can not only help probate proceed more smoothly, but may also help alleviate some of the emotional burden that executors sometimes feel.