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California Probate Process

Gain Insight from a Huntington Beach Probate Lawyer

Probate is the court process by which an individual's estate is distributed after his or her death. In California, the probate process is different from all other states. Rather than following the Uniform Probate Code, California follows its own probate laws. As it is a court action, probate begins with a petition that is submitted to the probate court. Probate proceedings are initiated with the filing of a will, if one exists, and the naming of an estate administrator. If the individual who is named as executor is not available or if no will exists, a family member can ask the court to appoint him or her, or someone else (usually another family member), as administrator. For more insight on the probate process, speak to a Huntington Beach probate lawyer from our firm! We can guide you through the process.

What is an executor's job?

An executor's job is to pay all debts and ensure that all assets are kept safe and distributed in the manner specified by the decedent, if a will is present. If the decedent had no will, then the assets are distributed in the manner specified by the California Probate Code, which generally means to the closest class of living relatives. Responsibilities of an executor can last from 8 to 12 months. A petition for probate and the will are filed with the probate court in the county where the decedent lived. When a will is present, it must be closely evaluated and proven to be valid. As the court issues letters of administration or letters testamentary, the executor will be granted authority. At this point, responsibility to gather the decedent's assets commences. An executor's job includes the following:

  • Identification of the decedent's assets
  • Appraisal of the property
  • Distribution of assets to heirs
  • Transfer of assets
  • Paying off creditors
  • Fulfillment of tax obligations
  • Selling of necessary property
  • Accounting and Report to the court

Need a Lawyer for Probate in Huntington Beach?

Having 20 years of probate experience, we know that the executor has a large responsibility on his or her shoulders. Contact Sterzer & Associates, A Law Corporation for legal representation from our Huntington probate attorney. We can help you effectively navigate the probate process during this time of overwhelming emotional stress.

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