“Probate” or the judicial process of officially “proving a will,” is a required legal court process that must be started in order to transfer the ownership of a loved one’s assets to heirs or beneficiaries, as spelled out in a will. Probate is also mandatory in the case of the absence of a will. Going through probate is a step-by-step court process that can take anywhere from nine months to two years. The process can become complicated due to several factors including bureaucratic delays, creditors’ claims, missing documents, unpaid taxes, or even genealogical questions. Each probate is very different and very individual. That’s why hiring a probate attorney is an absolute necessity. A qualified probate lawyer can efficiently work through court proceedings.

Who Exactly Needs Probate?

If a trust (also known as a “living trust”) was not established, and there is only a will, the family of the deceased must go through probate. If there simply is no will, no matter the amount of the assets, the family must also go through probate.

However, in some cases where the assets are worth less than $150,000, probate may not be necessary.

If you are named as the executor by the terms of the will, I will help you file the petition or if you would like to become the administrator of the estate of a family member who did not have a will (a condition referred to as “intestate”) I can help you to become appointed by the probate court. I can also assist you in all subsequent probate court matters and procedures until the closing of the estate. The probate law process is not easily accomplished without professional legal help and with my assistance, the paperwork flows smoothly and the probate process is seamless.

What Are The Costs For Probate?

The probate process is not free, and the costs vary. The costs are set according to law and generally five percent of the gross value of the estate is paid to the executor and five percent to the probate attorney. The court determines this based on the value of the estate, or the assets involved.

If you are a successor trustee or an executor and need help navigating the complicated process of administration contact Bridget Mackay today at 707-769-9975. We proudly serve the areas of: Petaluma, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, and Novato.



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