What is Probate?
When an individual in California dies with assets over $150,000 and without a living trust, it is likely that their family members will be forced to probate their estate. This is a court ordered process of distributing one’s assets. The process can take over a year and typically involves statutory attorney’s fees that can make the process quite expensive.
What is the Cost?
California Probate Code Section 10810 sets the Statutory Fees as:
- 4% on the first one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
- 3% on the next one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
- 2% on the next eight hundred thousand dollars ($800,000).
- 1% on the next nine million dollars ($9,000,000).
- .5% on the next fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000).
While having a living trust in place can avoid probate, we understand that sometimes individuals pass away without doing proper planning. In that situation, we are able to assist with the process to ensure that it is completed in the easiest possible way.
For clients with family that has passed, we are able to assist with the process to make sure that their family’s estate is distributed quickly and efficiently. For estates that have a will they will also need to go through this process.
The process begins with the Filing of a Petition for Probate with the Court. This also involves providing notice to all beneficiaries and creditors. After the Petition for Probate has been filed, the court issues Letters which allow the Executor or Administrator to begin administering the estate. This includes opening a bank account and obtaining an EIN on behalf of the estate. With the assistance of an attorney, the Administrator can begin collecting all of the assets and filing the inventory and appraisal.
Once all of the creditors of the estate have been paid, a petition to close the probate must then be filed with the Court.
Finally, the court will issue an order distribution the assets to the beneficiaries of the estate.