Probate is a complex and at most times a difficult process. Courts are back logged for months and there is no end in sight given the budgetary constraints of the State and the aging population. We pride ourselves in taking away the pain and stress of this challenge from our clients, at what is already a difficult time. We will make sure that your loved one’s possessions are distributed in the most efficient and stress-free manner possible, while keeping the family and executor updated along the way.

Need assistance navigating through probate? If you have any questions related to your specific probate please call us.

Probate With No Will also known as dying intestate- Where your assets go is determined by the Probate Code*. This is why it is important to at least have a Will designating where you assets should go at your death, particularly when you wish to leave gifts to friends or distant family that may not have any rights to your property or to become your executor.

Probate With a Will – So long as the Will is valid, we assist the executor in lodging the Will and following the steps required by the Court to sell and/or disperse property to the beneficiaries. We also guide the executor in providing the proper notice to heirs at law and complying with all other requirements of the California Probate Code. Our fees are routinely paid out of the Probate Estate and not directly by the Executor.

Probate With a Trust – A trust is a contractual trust agreement or deed whereby property is held by one party for the benefit of another. A trust is created by a settlor, who transfers title to some or all of his or her property to a trustee, separating the property’s legal ownership and control from its equitable ownership and benefits. The trustee holds that property for the trust’s beneficiaries. This may be done for tax avoidance reasons or to control the property and its benefits if the settlor is absent, incapacitated, or dead. Trusts are frequently created in wills, and is governed by the terms under which it was created. It defines how money and property will be handled for children or other beneficiaries. There may be a single trustee or multiple co-trustees. The trust is governed by the terms under which it was created.

*10810. (a) Subject to the provisions of this part, for ordinary services the attorney for the personal representative shall receive compensation based on the value of the estate accounted for by the personal representative, as follows: (1) Four percent on the first one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000). (2) Three percent on the next one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000). (3) Two percent on the next eight hundred thousand dollars ($800,000). (4) One percent on the next nine million dollars ($9,000,000). (5) One-half of 1 percent on the next fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000). (6) For all amounts above twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000), a reasonable amount to be determined by the court. (b) For the purposes of this section, the value of the estate accounted for by the personal representative is the total amount of the appraisal of property in the inventory, plus gains over the appraisal value on sales, plus receipts, less losses from the appraisal value on sales, without reference to encumbrances or other obligations on estate property.

Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide a general summary of laws in the State of California and should not be construed as a legal opinion nor a communication which forms an attorney-client relationship with the reader.

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