Going through a California probate case can be a frustrating and confusing process especially when you have no idea what to expect. The good news is that there are steps you can take which can make the process easier and more understandable. Here are some tips on how to successfully complete your California probate case.
Gather and Organize Important Documents
In some cases, such as when a loved one has been suffering from a terminal illness, the information and documents you need for the probate court will be ready. However, when a death is unexpected finding the right information can be challenging. You may have to work with other family members to search for your loved ones will or other testamentary documents. It is important to note that, in some cases, not every asset will have to go through California probate. Once you have a will or determine that your loved one did not have one, you can take the next step of finding out if your loved one’s estate consists of property which must go through probate.
Identify Joint Tenancies and Survivorship
Some property will not be subject to California probate because of how it is owned. Specifically, when the decedent owned property such as a home with another person through a joint tenancy, his or her interest will automatically go to the surviving owner. Likewise, when a person dies and is jointly-named on a financial account, the remaining account holder will get the contents through a provision called survivorship. You can help your probate case by knowing if these types of ownership are attached to any of your loved one’s assets.
Cooperate with the Court, Personal Representative, and Executor
Once the probate case begins, an individual will be named and allowed to access certain records and accounts which belonged to the decedent. When the individual dies with a will, he or she will have named an executor. If they died intestate, or without a will, the court will appoint someone to serve in this role (personal representative). Throughout the case, the appointed individual will have numerous responsibilities and duties to fulfill. Likewise, the probate court may have certain obligations and requests. It will help your California probate case progress if you cooperate with these individuals and the court.
Consult with an Experienced California Probate Attorney
The best way to ensure you can successfully complete your California probate case is by having an experienced California probate attorney at your side. Even with a will, California probate is a complicated process, and without the right advice, you could make mistakes which could delay or even damage your case. Additionally, your counsel will know what to do when unexpected issues arise and how to get things back on course.
Determining how the California Probate process works and getting through it can be challenging. At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we have the experience and advice you need to successfully complete your California probate case. Please contact us online or by phone to set up a free consultation today and start your solution.