Have you had a recent death in your family? The loss of a loved one can be difficult and stressful – even more so when you are worried about the property of the deceased. Probate is the court-supervised process that needs to be completed when your loved one has left and many people want to know – how does California probate law work? RJZ Law Group, P.C. – with offices in Los Angeles County – is here to help in all aspects of probate law.

What Is Probate in California?

Probate – is the legal process in which the property and assets of the deceased are distributed by an executor (if there is a will) or a court-appointed administrator (if there is no will). Within the probate process, the assets and property of the deceased will be inventoried and reviewed to pay any lasting debt. The probate process can be put into effect with or without a written will. The time to complete the probate process can vary from about 6 months to one and a half years.

Here is a look at the things that the probate process and a probate lawyer will help determine in California courts:

  • Determine if a valid will exists.
  • Determine the heirs or the beneficiaries of the will.
  • Determine the overall value of the deceased’s property.
  • Determine and pay any outstanding debt owed by the deceased.
  • Transfer property and assets to heirs and beneficiaries. 

Is Probate Required in California?

Families in the Golden State want to know – do I need to complete the probate process when someone passes away? In most cases – probate is required in California – but it can be avoided with proper planning. A simplified probate process can be employed when the total value of the estate is less than $166,250 and probate may not even be necessary if the estate includes named beneficiaries. Families who want to avoid the probate process for their loved ones can create a living trust and name multiple beneficiaries. Additionally, if you are the surviving spouse, you may be entitled to another simplified probate procedure available where a spouse is entitled to the distribution of the estate.

READ MORE:What Are the Differences Between a Trust and Estate?

Families with a recent death in the family may want to know – how does California probate law work? We at RJZ Law Group are here to help and offer a free consultation and to provide a review of your matter by one of our Probate Attorneys. Contact the RJZ Law Group today for more information on California probate law, estate planning and family law! We practice probate and estate planning throughout Southern California in Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Contra Costa County, and Ventura County.