Receive Guidance with Probate Matters
Our Tarzana Probate Attorneys Will Help Ease the Situation
It can be expensive to die in California without an estate plan. The
probate fees, administration costs, and final expenses add up to tens of thousands
of dollars. A complete estate plan can drastically reduce these costs
for your family.
Probate is the process of administering an estate of someone who has died.
The goal of a probate is to wind down the affairs of the estate, locate
assets, file and pay taxes, pay off creditors and distribute assets to
heirs. The biggest misconception about probate is that you can avoid it
with a Will. In fact, a Will is merely considered instructions to a judge
on how assets are to be distributed and to whom. If there is no Will,
state laws known as intestacy laws determine this.
When someone passes away, the court appoints an Executor if you have a
Will, or an Administrator if you don’t have a Will, to be responsible
for the probate. The Executor or Administrator is responsible for all
of the tasks involved with probate, such as filing a final income tax
return, inventorying assets, paying debts, distributing assets and preparing
an accounting that must be approved by the court. This is a highly technical,
overwhelming and time-consuming task that should not be taken lightly.
Probate is expensive and extremely time-consuming. In California, the process
can last many years. It is also a public process and can encourage distant
family members to come out of the woodwork. In California, if all of your
property is valued at less than $150,000, you may also be able to avoid probate.
Having trusted and competent counsel can make all the difference in a smooth
probate. Goldfarb & Luu will help you determine if probate is necessary
for a loved one who has passed away in various counties, including
Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties.
Preparation Is Key
If completed before incapacity and death, you can take proactive steps
to avoid probate by creating a Revocable Trust. When you create a Revocable
Trust, you will also transfer assets out of your name as an individual
to you as Trustee of your Trust. When you die, your Trust will go through
the trust administration process instead of probate. Trust administration
is less expensive, private and not as time-consuming.
If creating a trust is not possible and probate is unavoidable, not all
assets will go through probate. Certain assets are not distributed by
a Will and, therefore, avoid probate altogether if correctly titled. Assets
owned by more than one person in “joint tenancy” or as “joint
tenants” or assets with valid beneficiary designations, such as
life insurance policies or retirement benefits, will pass outside of probate
to the joint owner or designated beneficiary, whatever the case.
If a probate is necessary, we at Goldfarb & Luu will provide the legal
assistance you need to successfully complete the process in the least
stressful way. We will simplify the process by providing you with clear
instructions and communication every step of the way.
Contact Our Firm and, Together, We Can Make the Probate Process Easier
At Goldfarb & Luu, nothing is more rewarding than bringing you comfort
and calm during a challenging time. The administration of a loved one's
estate is a complicated matter not only for legal reasons, but for emotional
and familial reasons as well. We will enable you to make well-informed
decisions concerning your loved one's estate in Los Angeles County,
Ventura and Orange counties.
Contact Goldfarb & Luu
to discuss your situation during a