There are many issues to address when a loved one passes away. If you have been named as the administrator of their estate, it is your job to address these issues. From dealing with beneficiaries to paying creditors, this task can be overwhelming without the guidance of a skilled estate planning lawyer.
Keeping track of everything that goes into estate administration can be difficult, especially if you have never dealt with these legal matters before. Before you begin filing paperwork on your own, you should discuss your situation with a Huntington Beach estate administration lawyer.
Navigating the Probate Court
Dealing with the probate court is a significant part of estate administration. Probate is the legal process used for distributing a deceased person’s assets and resolving their debts after they pass away. A Huntington Beach attorney could assist with each step of the estate administration process.
Identifying the Estate Administrator
Early on in the probate process, the court must determine whether there is a valid will in place. If a last will and testament is found, it likely names a person to serve as the executor. This person is charged with administering the estate pending court approval. The executor will handle every aspect of probate, from paying creditors to distributing estate assets to the beneficiaries.
The process is different if there is no last will and testament in place. In those situations, it is up to the court to select someone to serve as the personal representative for the estate. The same is true when the will does not name an executor, or the individual named is unable to serve.
When is Probate Court Unnecessary?
Administering an estate can be a very different process if trusts are involved. If a trust exists, it could be possible to avoid probate court entirely. This option is favored by many as it can cost less and result in fewer delays.
The Role of an Attorney Throughout the Estate Administration Process
The benefit of hiring an experienced lawyer is that they could help executors navigate the complex process of administering an estate. From dealing with the probate court to avoiding it entirely, the work of an administrator can have a lasting impact on the beneficiaries of an estate.
Filing Necessary Paperwork
If there is a last will and testament in place, an attorney could help with probating it. This involves filing the document in probate court, establishing the administrator, and addressing any potential challenges that arise. Challenges to a will can be especially complex, and it is risky for an administrator to handle them on their own.
Peace of Mind
More than anything, seeking guidance from an attorney could provide an estate administrator with peace of mind. There are significant consequences that can come with mismanagement of an estate, but sound legal counsel could ensure the administrator is protected.
Talk to a Huntington Beach Estate Administration Attorney Today
If you have been charged with administering an estate, there are many obligations that rest on your shoulders. A skilled attorney could help you meet those obligations.
Let a Huntington Beach estate administration lawyer guide you through the probate process. Contact us as soon as possible for a confidential consultation.