Probate is a court-administered process that takes place following a person’s death. The probate court will authenticate a last will and testament, select executors, and determine how the assets of an estate should be distributed. Probate can also involve the appointment of guardians to oversee a decedent’s minor children.
If you were named in a will as the executor of an estate, it is crucial to seek professional guidance from a seasoned trusts and estates attorney. An Irvine probate lawyer could guide you through each step of the estate process and ensure you meet all requirements under the law.
The Probate Process in Irvine
The process of filing probate is like other civil lawsuits. However, a last will and testament must be executed if one exists.
The process begins after filing a petition with the appropriate California Superior Court, which will initiate the probate case and allow an executor to send out important notices. These documents notify creditors and other interested parties about the passing of a loved one.
Before the case can move forward, it is necessary to present a will to ensure its validity. Once a court determines whether a will is reasonable, an executor can move forward with the case by collecting assets, paying off creditors, settling tax bills, distributing assets to beneficiaries, and concluding the estate.
What is an Executor’s Role in the Probate Process?
An executor is responsible for overseeing the probate process on behalf of an estate. However, before an executor can act, a court must appoint them. In some cases, a person who creates an estate plan will name someone they trust to serve as their executor. If the person named is willing and able to perform the duties required of them, the court usually appoints that individual.
Once appointed, an executor can ensure the decedent’s final wishes are upheld. Often, creditors and beneficiaries rely on an executor to perform their duties fairly and with careful guidance. A seasoned attorney in Irvine could ensure that executors follow the proper steps to begin the probate process promptly.
How Long Will Probate Take?
There is no way to know how long the probate process might take. In many cases, some factors could delay proceedings. In some cases, the size of an estate could impact the resolution of probate. For example, some estates are small, with only a bank account or a handful of assets to address. However, larger estates might include complicated assets in several accounts worldwide.
There can also be delays if a will is not readily available. Often, it can take time to locate the most recent version of a will. Some delays can also occur when a probate court appoints an executor or notifies each beneficiary about a person’s death. However, having the support of an experienced attorney in Irvine could avoid delays in probate court and ensure the process is as efficient as possible.
Talk to an Irvine Probate Attorney Today
It is understandable if you are apprehensive about facing probate as the executor of an estate. As a trustee, you must ensure that a decedent’s assets are handled properly. Luckily, a legal representative could assist you through the probate process and help you understand the required legal duties.
Let an Irvine probate lawyer advise you on how to transfer assets to beneficiaries and pay off a loved one’s debts. Call today to learn more about the probate process and find out what your next steps should be.