Probate is an official legal process and one of the most important aspects of estate planning. It exists to ensure the proper distribution of a decedent’s assets to the correct beneficiaries, creditors, and heirs. The process is usually mandatory, functioning as the sole opportunity for heirs to challenge their legal standing under the terms of the estate.
This idea and process can be confusing for newcomers, but our seasoned estate planning and probate attorneys are here to help. A Huntington Beach probate lawyer could explain the nuances of probate, limit the headache of this process, and help resolve any complications that arise.
The Probate Process Under State Law
Probate is always necessary after the principal owner of an estate passes away. However, it is important to recognize that courts will not act on their own to initiate this process. Instead, California Probate Code § 8000 states that any interested party can submit a formal petition to the relevant branch of the probate court to get things started. An interested party is a person who is named as an heir in a will, a relative who might stand to inherit property, or a nominated executor of an estate.
During probate, a court will examine a will to authenticate it and determine its authenticity. During this examination, interested parties can also challenge the validity of a preexisting will.
Once a court authenticates a will, it would move forward to appoint an executor to the estate and oversee the actions of this individual. Common executor power includes the ability to take temporary control over estate assets and distribute them to beneficiaries or creditors. If an executor is confused about their duties, powers, and obligations during probate, a knowledgeable attorney in Huntington Beach could offer further clarification.
How Could a Lawyer Help with Probate?
Although probate can be costly and time-consuming, a Huntington Beach lawyer might be able to assist with every portion of this process. They could help interested parties get started, submit comprehensive petitions, attach a copy of the will in question, and obtain anything else required by a court.
Additionally, an attorney could also help if the authenticity of a will comes into question. They could take charge of a case, submit a formal challenge to the court or defend a will against unfair allegations of fraud. Finally, an intelligent legal representative could protect estate assets and see that the decedent’s wishes, as written in their wills, become a reality.
Work With a Huntington Beach Probate Attorney for Best Results
Maintaining control during the probate process is vital to protecting your legal rights and keeping an estate on track. Whether you are an executor looking to perform your role according to the terms of the law or are an heir hoping to inherit property as soon as possible, it is crucial to approach probate from a position of confidence.
A Huntington Beach probate lawyer could provide this invaluable help. They could explain the complications that people typically encounter, answer your many questions, and work to maintain the value and destination of expensive assets. To learn more about how our team members could help you navigate probate, contact our office today.