When searching for a probate attorney in Carlsbad, California, it’s important to work with someone who understands the state’s probate process, the essential items for every individual estate plan, and the best way to ensure your assets legally pass through the probate process and get to the intended beneficiaries.
The California Probate Process
When a California resident passes away, their estate goes through a process that accomplishes several vital tasks before awarding assets to any intended beneficiaries. This process, referred to as the probate process, can take months to establish several legally important factors:
• What is the value of the estate?
Doesn’t matter if the individual in question was rich or poor; if they had possessions, the probate process addresses the approximate value of the possessions before deciding how those possessions will get distributed. Without the legal directions afforded by a will or trust, the probate process could result in specific assets winding up with someone other than the intended beneficiary.
• Did the individual have a will and is that will legally valid?
If no will exists, the individual’s entire estate has to be handled by the courts. And since it’s possible for several copies of a will to exist, the court has to determine the authenticity of each one before moving forward.
• Did the individual have outstanding debts?
Without a will to protect an individual’s assets, creditors and debt collectors may press their argument to have the assets used to settle the individual’s debts before getting distributed to the intended beneficiaries. Wills and trusts allow an individual to shield specific assets from such bill collectors.
• Who was named as a beneficiary?
Whether it’s a will or a trust, the estate plan should plainly state which beneficiary gets which asset. A beneficiary can be a person or organization, and without that clarity, an intended asset could wind up going somewhere else.
Better Control of the Process
Handling the estate plans of a loved one, especially after their recent loss, can be a stressful and emotionally difficult challenge. As such, it can be tempting to let the courts work through the brunt of the probate process.
Because of the inherently difficult nature of estate planning, many people elect not to begin making their estate plans until near the end of their time. But to ensure their wishes get carried out correctly and to save time on the overall probate process, a sound estate plan can help ensure peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones.
There’s never a bad time to start thinking about the future, and it’s always possible to change your plans based on new information or situations that arise.
Your Local Probate Expert Planning Attorney
Since 2009, the Law Office of Andrew Fesler has provided the residents of Carlsbad with some of the smartest and most professional law services in the state. With experience serving clients in multiple California locations, the office has also adapted to new life challenges by offering virtual client services and maintaining services with clients that relocate out of the Carlsbad area.
To learn more about how we can help with your probate concerns and plans, contact the Law Office of Andrew Fesler today.