What Is Probate?

Probate is a legal process that occurs after someone dies. It’s a court proceeding that is time-consuming, complicated, and costly. However, it’s required to appoint legal title to assets at death. During a typical probate, the court oversees the distribution of a deceased person’s assets. The process usually starts with submitting a will and a court form to the county probate court. Sometimes the will has to be proven to be valid. Once the court determines the final will, the court appoints an executor. The executor then ensures the decedent’s debts and taxes are paid. The executor then gathers the decedent’s remaining assets to distribute to the beneficiaries. In some cases, probate is filed to resolve disputes among the beneficiaries. Typical probate in Southern California usually takes a couple of years to complete.

Law & Stein has extensive experience in handling probates. We have a team of attorneys and paralegals who are efficient with each step of the probate process. We’ve probated large estates worth hundreds of millions of dollars and small estates that have just a single asset. You should be aware that probate is expensive. The executor and the lawyer receive a statutory fee that is based on a percentage of the estate. Law & Stein has an online probate fee calculator to help you understand the costs. For example, the fees for probating a million-dollar asset such as a house would be about $46,000.

If you want more information about the probate process, please get in touch with Law & Stein for a free consultation. Let our firm’s expertise help you through this challenging process. Contact us now to help you.