Planning for Probate, or Lack Thereof!

Being named as an Executor in a decedent’s Last Will and Testament imposes significant responsibility on a person. The Executor, or other court appointed Personal Representative of an Estate, is tasked with various fiduciary responsibilities and must comply with the California Probate Code (“Code”) when administering an estate in California.

A full probate will require that the Personal Representative petition the court and obtain appointment, inventory and appraise the assets of the Estate, manage the assets of the Estate, provide notice to creditors, respond to creditor’s claims, and propose and obtain Court approval of a distribution schedule to heirs in compliance with the instructions of a will or in alignment with the Code where no will exists. The process will take several months, often in excess of nine months, and will involve the payment of fees based on the value of the assets. The personal representative will be due the statutory fee as will an attorney representing him or her.

The probate process is expensive and time consuming. In some cases, a full probate procedure may be avoided through the utilization of specific procedures authorized under the Code. A named or proposed fiduciary may determine if this is an option by consulting with an experienced estate administration attorney as early on in the process as possible.

However, we all can plan to assist our heirs in avoiding the burden and expense of probate by effectively planning our estates with the establishment and funding of a Trust. If you have been named Executor of an Estate, or you are interested in assisting your loved ones in avoiding the probate process through proper estate planning, please contact Chauvel & Glatt to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced estate planning and administration attorneys who may provide excellent counsel in either matter.

The material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute, legal advice or promise similar outcomes. For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500. (Photo Credit 123rf.com).

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