WHAT IS PROBATE?
When a person dies without a (properly funded) trust, his or her entire estate (all assets and liabilities they own at death), or select assets, must go through a court mandated process called probate, before any assets can be distributed to their heirs. Probate administration is overseen by a court to ensure that the final settling of the decedent’s (deceased person) assets and liabilities is done completely and properly. This is true even if the decedent had a will!
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
In general, the probate process involves collecting the decedent’s assets, liquidating liabilities, paying necessary taxes, and distributing property to heirs. To aid in the administration of the probate, a “personal representative” or “administrator” is required to oversee the process and to distribute the decedent’s property. In CA, this person is often an attorney, as the CA probate process is complicated and time consuming.
WHAT IS THE PRICE?
Probate fees are particular to each estate or asset that is administered, and fees are calculated based on a specific state mandated fee schedule.