Probate Lawyer Orange CA
Probate Lawyer Orange CA
If you need a probate lawyer in Orange, California, you can count on Holborn Law. Probate is a frustrating and lengthy process, and the right legal advice from a qualified lawyer can make all the difference. But what makes probate so difficult, and what can you expect from a lawyer when you decide to reach out to one for help?
INSIDE THE PROBATE PROCESS
There are plenty of opportunities for bitterness and fighting to surface and cause your family and friends undue stress as they’re dealing with your passing. Unfortunately, there’s even more opportunity for drama when it comes to money and assets and deciding who gets what. Despite all the arguing and fighting, creating a will is necessary to avoid even more headaches and heartaches.
Dealing with an estate without a will is a nightmare, and dealing with an estate with a will is only slightly better. If there’s a will, your beneficiaries can start the probate process.
Probate is the process through which your estate is divided and bequeathed to your beneficiaries, so of course, it’s complicated. And if there’s any bad blood between your family members, you’ll probably understand why it gets so frustrating, as well. Probate is broken up into several steps, and in each stage, there’s room for disagreement and financial loss.
If your will names an executor (it should), then it means you’ve selected a trusted person to follow the instructions contained in the will. Unfortunately, people can contest the appointment of an executor, further bogging down the probate process before it even starts. Assuming your beneficiaries all agree with your choice of executor, there’s still an uphill battle to be fought before any of your family or friends see a single cent from your estate.
The rest of the probate process is a revolving door of legal requirements and tasks to be completed before the estate is released to your beneficiaries. All of your heirs will need to be notified about your passing, and your executor must submit your will to a court to ensure it’s legitimate. Your assets will need to be tracked down, and each possession will need to have a value assigned to it, which means your folks will have to pay for outside help. And you can’t forget taxes and any outstanding debts. After all the hoops to jump through, your beneficiaries will probably wonder if they’ll get anything at all.
Probate is a challenge, but fortunately, a probate lawyer in Orange, CA, can provide more information about how you can make probate easier for your family and friends and how you might be able to avoid it altogether.
CONTACT HOLBORN LAW TODAY
At Holborn Law, we know how complicated probate can be, and we know you don’t want your loved ones to suffer any more than necessary after your passing. In a time of grief, the last thing they should be dealing with is endless paperwork, forms, and legal battles over your legacy.
When you reach out to a probate lawyer, you learn valuable information about making probate easier for your friends and family. You can also know how to use a living trust to protect your family from the probate headache altogether.
Estate planning takes a lot of work and dedication, and a lawyer from Holborn Law can protect your future. Contact a probate lawyer in Orange, CA today, and see how we can help you plan your tomorrow.
Understanding the Probate Process
Our probate lawyer in Orange, CA, sees many estate planning clients concerned with probate, often looking for ways to avoid the process altogether. While probate can be complicated and can cause problems, it’s possible to manage the process easier when the proper planning happens ahead of time. However, it’s essential to know that a professional like Holborn Law serves more purpose than just developing an estate plan. Legal professionals can assist executors and beneficiaries in managing each step of the probate process.
What is Probate?
Probate is a necessary process after a person dies in which the court validates the will and the executor is officially appointed to resolve the estate. All wills must pass through probate, and depending upon the specifics; the process can take some time. The average probate process can take approximately 30-60 days. For larger estates, the process may take much longer. When there is conflict, know that probate can take years before resolving. Additionally, when someone dies intestate or without a will, all of their assets must pass through probate, and the courts will make decisions based upon the laws of succession.
Steps of Probate
Managing the probate process can be challenging, especially for the appointed executor, who may have little knowledge of the process. At times a probate lawyer in Orange, California my be beneficial as they can help navigate the legalities and ensure everything goes smoothly. There are several steps to the probate process to be aware of, including:
Filing a Petition with Probate
When a person passes away, the executor must file the will with the probate court through a petition. A hearing date is set, and the executor must notify all involved parties, including beneficiaries and creditors. Often notice of the hearing will be published publicly to inform others who may have a claim on the estate. Once this happens, there is a waiting period for anyone who wishes to come forward.
All assets within the estate must be inventoried and listed for probate. The process can be a lot of work as the executor will need to gather a list of valuables, property, life insurance policies, bank account information, retirement accounts, and more. All assets or valuables are typically assigned a fair market value. The state will have a specific form for asset inventory; once the list is complete, this form is submitted to probate court.
All Expenses Must be Paid
Before releasing anything to beneficiaries, the executor must pay all expenses. If an executor releases assets to beneficiaries before this step, they may have to cover the costs themselves if there is not enough left in the estate to cover them. At times, to pay debts such as funeral costs, credit card debts, and taxes, some valuables, and assets may need to be sold.
Transfer All Property to Beneficiaries
Once all debts have been paid, property and assets can be distributed to beneficiaries. The executor will petition the court to distribute any remaining assets under the will.
These steps are critical before beneficiaries can receive their inheritance. However, the process is not without complications. Familial conflict may arise, making it challenging to reach a resolution promptly. Acting as executor over someone’s estate is a significant undertaking, especially when experiencing considerable pressure from family members who want their inheritance released to them before the time comes. Having guidance from an attorney will be essential.
Probate is a process many are looking to avoid; however, keep in mind that probate is a requirement. Despite this, know that not all hope is lost. It is possible to mitigate the number of assets that pass through probate, thus reducing taxes and maximizing your heirs’ inheritance. To learn more about the many tools available at your fingertips for estate planning, reach out to our Orange, CA probate lawyer at Holborn Law.
How Can I Avoid The Probate Process?
As you consider your mortality and what you want to happen to your belongings once you transition, you will more than likely consider estate planning, wills, and trusts. You may wonder what these are, how they differ, and how they will impact your assets. More than that, you may have heard a plethora of scary things about probate court and you may ask yourself, “Goodness, how can I avoid the probate process?” Well, a reputable probate lawyer can help you.
Before we discuss how you can avoid the probate process, we will begin by discussing what the probate process is and why some people wish to avoid it. Once you die, your estate goes through probate. This is true whether you do or don’t have a will. A probate judge, along with your executor if your estate has one, will ensure that all of your debts are paid off and that your beneficiaries get what you have left to them.
In California, probate court usually lasts for nine months, but it can actually take up to several years before everything is resolved. Your probate may take so long because certain family members may contest what’s going on and how your property is being distributed, or unknown family members may appear and want to stake their claim to your property. Because what occurs during your probate is public record and any interested parties, from news reporters to curious neighbors, can access its happenings, there is no shortage of reasons as to why probate may take years to complete.
Now, how might you avoid this hassle? The short answer is; you can create a trust. A trust is a relationship between you and a third party to ensure that the rights of your beneficiaries are protected once you transition.
Six Misconceptions About Probate and Estate Planning
I Don’t Have Many Assets so I Don’t Need a Will
If all you own is your clothes, dishes and furniture, you still need a will to divide those assets among your heirs. Don’t leave anyone guessing about what you wanted done with your belongings. Speak with a probate lawyer in Orange, CA, about making the process easier for everyone after you pass away.
An Estate Plan Should Be Based Entirely on Reducing Taxes
While avoiding taxes is a laudable goal, the truth is that most people don’t have to worry about that. Estate taxes don’t kick in until your estate is valued at more than $12.06 million, and only a few states have inheritance taxes on the books. Speak with a probate lawyer in Orange, CA, to help you minimize taxes while you maximize your beneficiaries’ inheritance.
My Children Are So Different, but To Be Fair, I Have To Divide My Assets Equally Between Them
You don’t have to divide your assets equally between your children if it doesn’t make sense to do so. For example, one child may have loved your cookie jar collection, while the other two couldn’t care less about it. It wouldn’t make sense in this instance to divide that collection evenly between the three children.
A Trust Is the Only Method of Avoiding Probate
A trust is an excellent way to avoid probate, but it’s not the only method. Joint ownership of assets can bypass the probate process; the asset that is jointly owned automatically becomes the property of the joint owner. Some states allow for transfer-on-death assets, where the property automatically passes into the hands of the designated heir. Some states also have “small estate” probate procedures, where the probate process takes a far shorter amount of time.
The Probate Process Takes Years, Often Decades
On the contrary, the probate process takes from six months to a year, depending on the size and complexity of the estate. The more you can use the vehicles described above to bypass the probate process, the more quickly probate will go through. Talk to a Holborn Law probate lawyer in Orange, CA to help you set things up so your heirs can minimize probate.
Nothing Is Left of the Estate After Probate Because the Process Is Extremely Expensive
Probate usually costs between three and seven percent of the total value of the estate. Minimize the amount of your estate by making tax-free gifts to your heirs of up to $15,000 per year. Revisit your life insurance and retirement accounts and make sure your beneficiaries are up-to-date. A Holborn Law attorney can advise you on reducing the size of your estate before your death.
Types of Trusts
There are many types of trust. The most common types of trusts are living trust, revocable trust, and irrevocable trust. Because understanding trusts can be time-consuming and complicated, you should consult with a knowledgeable probate lawyer in Orange CA first, such as the knowledgeable probate lawyers at Holborn Law.
A living trust is a type of trust that doesn’t require attorneys, attorney fees, or probate court. It is created while you’re alive–hence its name. It is revocable, which means that, even if you promise one item to a particular person, you can change your mind down the road. But one concern for people who create a living trust is that you will have to transfer everything individually, meaning that you will have to inform all respective agencies that you are transferring your property to someone else.
A revocable trust is a trust created between you and the individual or company you name as the trustee (handler) of what’s in your trusts. With this trust, you can name people who aren’t your relative or even in California as your trustee, which may be a necessary benefit if you’re concerned about relatives pressuring or coercing your trustee.
An irrevocable trust is a trust that, after you create it, can’t be changed unless your beneficiaries all consent to the changes.
What is a probate lawyer?
If you’re going to go through the trouble of selling your business, it’s a good idea to find a probate lawyer Orange, CA who will take on the responsibility of handling everything from the liquidation of your assets to the sale of your business.
If your business is relatively simple, you may want to handle everything yourself — asset liquidation, paying taxes and selling the business. But if it’s more complicated — or if you have something like a closely held corporation that needs to be sold in order to distribute its stock — then you should consider hiring a probate lawyer from Holborn Law.
A probate lawyer in Orange, CA differs from other lawyers because they specialize in handling these matters — and have experience with them. A probate lawyer Orange, CA from Holborn Law will help you decide which assets must be liquidated, when those assets need to be sold and how the proceeds should be distributed. If you’re starting out in business, he’ll also help you establish an ownership structure that makes sense for the company’s situation.
Sometimes called “probate and estates,” probate lawyer Orange, CA is a lawyer who specializes in handling the affairs of people who’ve died. It sounds like a simple, straightforward thing to do, but it’s not.
Why is a probate lawyer needed?
Although probate is relatively straightforward when compared to other estates matters, there are still some intense legal complexities involved. And because probate can take a fairly long time, many people prefer to have their affairs handled by a lawyer instead of doing it themselves.
Probate lawyers in Orange, CA are trained in the laws and procedures applicable to wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents, as well as the administration of estates. The lawyer will typically handle all aspects of these matters for his or her clients, from drafting the documents to filing them with various authorities.
Why is a probate lawyer needed for a Will?
If you’re the beneficiary of a will or a trust or the executor or trustee of an estate, you will likely need to hire a probate lawyer in Orange, CA. The purpose of having a probate lawyer handle your estate is to make sure everything’s in order before it’s distributed to heirs.
When someone dies, their assets — both financial and real — pass to their beneficiaries. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll get paid in full (and avoid having to pay taxes on them), because laws vary state by state. They can pass to the deceased’s family members, friends or charities. They also might go directly to the state treasury, with the rest of the estate going to the heirs when they come forward.
The law covering probate is pretty complicated, but it has some basic things in common. First of all, it determines who gets what when someone dies without a will — that is, without leaving instructions about their estate plan. If there isn’t a will, it’s up to the courts (or sometimes an appointed administrator) to divide and distribute what’s left of an estate fairly among heirs.
Probate lawyers are responsible for these distributions and other legal processes involved with handling an estate plan after someone dies. Call a probate lawyer in Orange, CA from Holborn Law today to get started with a free consultation!