Probate cases involve handling the property, assets and/or liabilities of a deceased individual. Probate cases in California can take up to eighteen months to process, even if there are no complications such as no will, a contested will and/or various creditors laying claim to a deceased person's assets.
In some cases, a person does not even need to go to probate court to claim what is rightfully his or hers. If the total value of the estate is quite low and the will is clear regarding who should inherit what, then the process of transferring ownership and paying bills can be done outside court supervision. However, court involvement is necessary if there is no valid will, as an individual will need to be appointed as administrator of a deceased person's estate. The administrator handles the same tasks that an executor would take on; that is; he or she transfers ownership of property to heirs, pays taxes on the deceased person's properties and pays creditors what they are rightfully owed.
Is Hiring a Lawyer Obligatory?
California, unlike some other states, does not require that Oakland County lawyers residents hire to handle the probate process. However, there are times when handling a lawyer is the best option. If numerous creditors are attempting to lay claim to a person's assets, then the executor of the will may want to retain a lawyer to ensure that the heirs receive what is rightfully theirs. If one or more heirs are contesting all or a part of the will, hiring a lawyer is in order. It can also be a good idea to hire a lawyer if the deceased individual left an ongoing business.
Managing the affairs of a deceased individual can be difficult, especially for a close friend or relative who is still mourning the loss of a loved one. Thankfully, many probate cases are relatively uncomplicated, especially if the deceased individual left a valid will. Even some cases without a valid will can be easily managed without professional legal help, as California law makes it clear which creditors get precedence and allows executors to make a number of decisions on their own.
However, it is important for an executor or administrator to realize that here are times when getting help from a local lawyer is the best course of action. Professional legal help can save time, money and hassle, thus ensuring that the probate case is processed in a fair, speedy manner.
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