The process to probate a Will in California, similar to most other states in the United States, seems overwhelming, yet it’s meant for individuals to be able to do it and even though hiring a probate attorney may save you countless headaches, hiring an attorney is not required.
In cases where a will is present, a specific person is listed as the executor. If there isn’t a legal will, after filing court documents, the court will appoint an estate administrator. The executor or administrator will be who is responsible for the above-outlined steps.
Verification of the will is as simple as bringing a copy of the legal document to your assigned court hearing and having the Judge verify that it is, indeed, a legally recognized document. Next, the executor will be in charge of securing and protecting the deceased’s belongings.
After an inventory is completed and the estate is secured, the examination of debts will be performed. Don’t fret.
Not all debts should be paid immediately. Debtors are to be notified that the deceased’s estate has entered into probate.
Once notified, it is up to the debtor to file a claim against the estate for the amount owed. The total process from beginning to end for probate can last anywhere from a couple of months to over one year, with the average being 16 months.
With probate tying up the income for the executor and consisting of many financially binding tasks, you will want to ask the courts to allow for short-term release funds from the estate.
Speaking of the estate’s funds, let’s jump into the probate cost and attorney fees.