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Probate Attorney In Los Angeles And San Fernando Valley California

The term probate is used to define a legal process by which the will of a dead person is proven in court, and accepted as a true and valid document, the genuine last testament of the deceased individual. Before the process of administering the estate of the deceased can be begun, the granting of a probate is the first hurdle that has to be crossed. In the probate court, the legal validity of a person’s will is determined, and becomes a legal instrument, which can be enforced by the executor of the will in any law courts where necessary and a consultation with a Probate attorney Los Angeles may be needed. This done, the probate then officially appoints the individual nominated by the testator to be the executor of the will with the power to administer the estate of the deceased as set out in the will of the deceased. With the help of the probate, the financial affairs of the deceased, and whatever debts being owed are properly cleared and paid off. The Probate Process The probate process is often clearly explained to clients by the Probate Attorney in Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley California that it begins when the individual named by the deceased as the executor of the will files a petition with any probate court in the locality to start legal proceedings to act on the will of the deceased person. During this process, the validity of the deceased’s will is critically reviewed and proved in the probate court before being presented with an extensive list of all properties owned and debts owed by the testator and the contents of the will as regarding who inherits what. After this, the creditors and the relatives of the deceased are then officially notified of the demise of the testator. The probate process takes almost about a period of few months to one year, and during this period, the executor of the will is saddled with the responsibility of finding out, taking an inventory of the testator’s assets, and securing whatever properties owned by the testator. After this has been done, the executor of the will identifies all creditors of the deceased testator, and pays any debts owed to them from the proceeds of the estate. In administering the assets and paying off debts, all legal fees, attorney fees, and all costs of administering the estate are first paid off. Also, family allowances to support the family throughout the period of the probate are paid to the family members of the testator. The expenses accrued in carrying out the funeral and other costs involved are also paid. Taxes accruing from the estate and other bills such as medical bills are also paid off. Finally, whatever claims and debts owed by the testator to any creditor is then paid off. Then whatever remains of the assets after settling all these are then shared to the beneficiaries stated in the will according to the instructions laid down in the will or wherein the deceased died intestate, the remaining assets are then shared according to the laws of intestacy in that state.     Probate Assets Simply put, these are assets owned solely by the deceased, and cannot be automatically transferred to any other individual after the death of owner, and are subject to the probate process in the probate court due to the fact that they make up all assets owned by the deceased at the time of his death. Types of assets that are subject to the probate proceedings according to Probate Attorney in Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley California include:

  • Individual assets: Individual assets are all assets owned in the name of the deceased which no other individual can lay claim to after the demise of the owner or does not have any beneficiary with any interest in them. Examples of such assets include bonds, cars, stocks, estate holdings, cars, any cash held in bank accounts or investment accounts owned by the deceased.
  • Beneficiary assets: Beneficiary assets are those assets that are payable to the deceased at his death. Such assets may include life insurance policy, medical saving accounts, retirement account, and health savings account. All these assets fall under probate assets and are liable to be held under the probate process to determine how it would be shared either in accordance with the wishes of the deceased in his will or according to the state laws guiding intestacy.
Non Probate Assets Non probate assets are those assets that are not owned solely by the deceased whose assets are being probated, and, therefore, cannot be included as assets owned by the deceased. Such assets include properties held in joint ownership by the deceased, and another individual, probably his/her spouse; with the right of survivorship, all properties held in a trust, especially trusts that are irrevocable, and any retirement or insurance benefits that is payable to an individual named by the deceased as the beneficiary. Avoiding Probate: Is it possible? Some people may want to avoid probate due to the jostle and hassle that comes with it i.e. probate fees, time involved, stress and the inability of family members to access the assets bequeathed to them until the probate period is over. As your astute Probate Attorney in Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley California, it is possible to avoid probate on any of your assets you wish to. Ways by which these can be achieved are by:
  • Joint property ownership with the right of survivorship: In a joint property ownership with a right of survivorship, whatever property owned by both parties after the death of one of them is transferredto the name of the surviving partner and so cannot be included in the assets of the deceased.
  • Revocable trusts: A revocable living trust is also a means by which probate on certain assets can be completely avoided in the sense that any property that has been placed in the trust is transferred to another individual to use to the benefit of the owner but with the revocation rights still owned by the trust grantor. The trust agreement can be set up in such a way that whatever assets that are placed in the trust are to be transferred back to family members immediately after the death of the grantor. In this way, probate on the trust assets are completely avoided.
  • Death Beneficiaries: Here, you are given the opportunity to designate a beneficiary to receive entitlements that accrue to you upon your death. With this method, such entitlements or assets are no longer yours after your death and so cannot be included in a probate.
  For all your probate related matters, the Leventhal Law Group, P.C offers free and no obligation consultation with a qualified attorney. Call 818-347-5800 for a free consultation today!

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