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What is Probate?

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What Happens In Probate Court?

After an individual dies, there are many steps that must be taken and many legal requirements that must be met in order to settle the estate. Our probate law practice specializes in this process that is known as probate or estate administration.

The probate law practice of Alice A. Salvo represents clients in the Los Angeles area through the process of probate. If you are interested in learning more about probate or just what is probate court, the information below will be informative.

What Is Probate Court?

Probate court is the specific type of court that handles the property and debt of an individual who has passed. The duty of the probate court judge is to use probate law and make sure the deceased individuals creditors get paid and any leftover assets are distributed to the correct beneficiaries.

Utilizing probate law , we refer to probate as the court process in which an estate is finalized after an individual’s death. In our probate law practice we accomplish many things, from determining the value of the estate, to distributing assets to beneficiaries, to settling any outstanding debts.

Probate law and managing a case can be a long and burdensome process. In fact, many people take specific steps through estate planning to avoid the probate court altogether. The use of trusts is one common probate avoidance tool. If you are interested in learning more about estate planning to avoid probate, please contact our probate law practice. Otherwise, we can help your family through the process of probate and address any questions or concerns you have along the way.

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The Pros And Cons Of The Probate Process

In general people try to avoid probate. Why? Because probate is time consuming and expensive. It is not uncommon for probate to take a year or longer. When a relative or potential heir contests the will or the court’s asset distribution, the process is further drawn out. Note that the court, lawyers, assessors, and related professionals involved all charge fees. These fees usually come out of the estate.

Some benefits to implementing probate law and the probate process do exist. For specific estates in certain jurisdictions, probate may be necessary. It is important to consult our probate law practice and ask a probate attorney whether probate is required in the jurisdiction of your concern. Probate court offers a degree of certainty to the deceased’s family. In situations where the question arises about whether a will is valid or about what an asset is worth, the law process will determine the answer.

This is what takes place in estate administration and the probate process:

  • Prove if there is a will and it is valid.
  • Selecting an executor, administrator or representative.
  • Computing the total asset value both in the estate and out of the estate.
  • Paying all debts and estate taxes.
  • Identify every heir and other relatives.
  • Distribute all remaining assets to heirs as mentioned in the will.



Dying Without A Will

When an individual dies without a will, the state assumes responsibility for administering his or her estate. Dying without a will is known as dying “intestate.” Family members may have limited power in determining how the estate is distributed. For small estates, this may not present many legal challenges. However, for high-value estates, it is advisable to contact our experienced probate law practice and speak to a probate attorney about possible legal options.

Contact A Los Angeles Probate Law Attorney

Our probate law practice is efficient. Often, we can actually make the probate process be completed sooner than many other law firms. If you would like to know more about what occurs in probate court or how long your case will take, we can review your situation.

For help with additional probate law information after a loved one’s death, please contact us online or call 818-676-9572 for a free consultation.