Many people assume probate is a process to avoid if at all possible, but an experienced Walnut Creek probate attorney understands that not every situation is the same, and, in some cases, there is a distinct advantage to probating an estate.
The cost of a probate is typically much higher when compared to administering an estate of a similar size without the need for probate. Fees for the probate lawyer and executor are set by statute and are based on a percentage of the fair market value of the estate. Time is another drawback to probate; it will take a minimum of nine months, but it could take considerably longer. The assets of the estate cannot be distributed until the conclusion of probate. Probate is a public proceeding; there is no privacy when an estate is probated.
When an estate is probated, the probate court supervises all matters. A Walnut Creek probate attorney explains that this can be particularly useful if there is a dispute among heirs or beneficiaries or a question as to title or ownership of an asset. Creditors who are given proper notice have only 120 days to file a claim or their rights may be extinguished. Without probate, a creditor has rights until the expiration of the relevant statute of limitations. For an estate with many creditors, the probate court is a way to protect the executor from potentially paying on unnecessary claims.
If it is determined that avoiding probate is desirable, a living trust, holding assets in joint tenancy and establishing pay on death beneficiaries on financial holdings should be considered.
Contact Walnut Creek Probate Lawyer for Legal Advice
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