What is Probate Law?

Probate is a legal process following the death of an individual. You will encounter this if the owner of the property you are listed as beneficiary dies.

Steps followed during the process include:

  • Proving the will of the deceased person is valid in court.
  • Identification and appraisal of the deceased’s property.
  • Payment of taxes or debts owed.

Distribution of remaining properties as per the will.

How Probate Process Works

The executor of the will files papers at the local probate court after the death of the individual. If the deceased person did not leave a will, the court appoints a person to determine debts owed, list down properties owned and decide who will inherit properties left behind.

The executor is expected to find all relevant information concerning the assets of the deceased. Creditors and relatives listed in the will are then informed once the process is complete. Many people hire lawyers to handle any paperwork, fees from the property and make court appearances on their behalf because probate is complicated.

Is Probate Always Necessary?

The process depends on the amount of property being passed on. Certain quantities of assets will be passed on without going through the probate in many states. For example properties, worth 100,000 in California can pass to the beneficiaries without the process. Before the probate process, there will be an upper threshold to the value of the estate of the deceased. Properties that pass through living trust or joint tenancy will not pass through the will.

If you or a loved one is ready to plan your will, please contact our Coachella Valley estate planning attorneys for a consultation.