If you have older relatives or a loved one who recently passed away, you may be wondering if you will receive any inheritance, and, if so, how you go about getting it. In most cases, the process of settling someone’s estate goes through California probate court. Going through any legal process involving the courts can be a challenge, and it is often made even more difficult by the fact that you may still be grieving the loss of a loved one. Preparing ahead of time will help you know what to expect and ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Preparing to Avoid Probate
The best thing you can do to prepare for the probate process is attempt to avoid it entirely. If you have a loved one (especially a spouse) who is getting older, it may be a good idea to talk to them about Estate Planning. Helping them to work with an attorney and get their estate in order can help to minimize what has to go through the probate courts at all.
For example, if your loved one is able to place their assets into Trusts, those specific things can typically avoid the probate courts entirely. This will also help the assets to pass on to their heirs much more quickly. Of course, preparing in this way can only be done while your loved one is still living and able to make legal decisions for themselves. The earlier they get started, the better!
Understanding the Probate Process
If going through the probate courts becomes necessary, you will want to know what to expect and how to navigate the process. The exact steps you need to take depends on your legal role and your relationship to the loved one. For example, if you have been named the executor of the estate, you will be responsible for gathering up their assets and caring for them until they go through the entire process. If you are a potential heir to the estate, you will need to follow it through the probate courts to ensure your rights are protected.
Working with an Experienced California Probate Attorney
No matter how well-prepared you are, it is important to recognize that going through the probate process can be a very complicated legal task. In addition, it can have a major impact on what happens to the estate of your loved one, which will affect you for years to come. In order to ensure your rights are protected and the wishes of your loved one are honored, it is a good idea to have an experienced California probate attorney at your side. Contact Solan, Park & Robello to get the help you need today!