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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 $184,500, 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 case evaluation.

Devoted to Making Clients for Life

At Goldfarb & Luu, we recognize the importance of treating our clients with the utmost respect and compassion. We do whatever we can to make sure our clients have peace of mind. Everything we do – from our actions to our processes – is focused on making sure you know we care. Whether you have a crisis that requires our immediate attention or simply have questions that demand answers, we find solutions and take care of your best interests. The result: a life-long relationship of mutual trust.

Why Hire Us?
  • Hundreds of clients helped throughout California
  • Years of experience handling estate and elder law matters
  • Selected as Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ for 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Compassionate, thoughtful, and comprehensive legal solutions based on your needs