California Probate Laws Can Be Complex

We Represent Executors And Beneficiaries In Probate Matters

Probate is the process of validating a decedent's will in court, obtaining an appraisal of the decedent's assets, paying taxes and creditors, and distributing the remaining assets according to the decedent's will (or the California laws of intestacy if the decedent did not have a will).

In California, estates that have more than $150,000 in probate assets generally must go through probate. Probate assets are those that are held in the decedent's name only. An asset that is held in joint tenancy, such as a home, does not have to go through probate. Other assets that do not have to go through probate include those that have payable-on-death beneficiary designation, such as a retirement account or health insurance policy, and assets held in a revocable living trust.

Initiating The Probate Process

Probate is initiated by an executor, the individual who is named in the will to manage the process. If there is no will or a person who is named executor cannot fulfill those duties, a family member can petition the court to become administrator of the estate.

If an estate has significant probate assets, navigating the process can be complex. It is paperwork-intensive and fraught with potential legal liabilities for the executor. Many executors rely on the knowledge and experience of a probate attorney to help them complete the process. At the Law Offices of Roshni T. Desai in Santa Ana, we assist clients with the full spectrum of probate issues, including:

  • Identifying which assets must go through probate and which assets do not
  • Obtaining accurate values and appraisals of all assets
  • Preparing and filing all documents required by the probate court
  • Addressing tax issues
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries according to the decedent's wishes or California laws of intestacy

We also represent individuals who wish to contest a will or who feel the executor failed to meet his or her fiduciary responsibilities in administering the decedent's estate.

Schedule A Consultation

We can answer your questions during a free initial consultation and recommend an effective course of action. Call 714-955-4137 or use our online contact form to schedule a meeting. We help clients in Santa Ana and throughout Orange County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County.