Los Angeles Probate Lawyer
Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer Guides Clients Through Probate Administration in Los Angeles, CA
The Los Angeles probate process is essentially a system whereby the probate courts oversee the identification, accounting, and distribution of a deceased individual’s assets. Whether you agreed to act as the executor of a friend or loved one’s estate in advance or were surprised to learn that you had been named executor following that individual’s death, you may soon find that the Los Angeles probate process is complex, time-consuming and frustrating if you don’t possess substantial probate experience.
At the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman, we understand that the estate administration process is likely a difficult time for the estate executor and that identifying and liquidating assets may be painful or extremely time-consuming to handle. We focus on providing empathetic guidance to clients throughout this process and can handle the difficult and complex tasks that probate may require. We work as the legal representatives of executors and clients throughout Los Angeles and the rest of California and can provide probate advice to you regardless of where the estate must be probated.
The California Probate Process
In Los Angeles, a deceased individual’s heirs will generally either inherit his or her assets pursuant to a last will and testament or via state laws that govern the distribution of assets in the event that no will has been executed. Probate in California serves to accomplish two primary goals, which are:
- Identifying and satisfying the deceased individual’s debts and liabilities, and
- Distributing the remaining assets to the deceased individual’s heirs pursuant to a will or state law.
In order to accomplish these goals, a number of steps will be required, and an experienced probate lawyer can be valuable throughout this process in helping the executor:
- Send or publish required notices to both the decedent’s heirs and creditors,
- Inventory the estate’s assets,
- Clear titles prior to asset distribution,
- Check for medical and tax liens,
- Liquidate assets to pay debts and estate expenses,
- Locate and connect the executor with professionals who can help maximize the value of assets that must be sold,
- Assist the client in preparing the final reports, tax returns, and estate accounting,
- Handle the various probate hearings that may be required throughout the probate administration process.
Los Angeles Probate Lawyers Provides Skilled and Compassionate Legal Advice
At the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman, our probate lawyer provides guidance and support to our clients through every step of the probate process. Our lawyers pride ourselves on providing both exceptional legal representation and compassionate support to our clients as they handle the complex process of administering the estate of a deceased friend or loved one.
While the overall probate process may initially seem simple, a myriad of issues can arise to complicate a Los Angeles probate. An experienced probate lawyer can help minimize the disruptions that these complications can cause, including in the following scenarios:
- Asset appraisals. In many cases, a will may specify certain dollar amounts that will be left to various heirs, or cash may be needed to satisfy the decedent’s liabilities or estate expenses. These scenarios can require complex asset appraisals in order to place a dollar value on various estate assets during the probate process.
- Will contests. In an ideal world, every individual would discuss his or her final wishes with loved ones prior to death. In reality, heirs are often surprised by a decedent’s bequests and may choose to challenge the validity of the will on a variety of grounds.
- Debts and taxes. An experienced probate lawyer can provide expert advice to determine whether debts and tax liabilities are valid, and can assist in allocating estate assets to ensure that all valid liabilities are satisfied.
Probate Requires Legal Advice You Can Trust. Contact a Seasoned Probate Lawyer for Help in Your Los Angeles Case Today
At the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman, our skilled probate lawyer has nearly four decades of experience helping clients successfully navigate the complex Los Angeles probate process. Fill out our online contact form to schedule a confidential consultation with our veteran probate lawyer today. Our office is conveniently located at 8912 Haskell Ave., North Hills, CA 91343.
About Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States and is located in Southern California. Los Angeles is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to its west, and large mountain ranges, including the San Gabriel Mountains, to the north and east. The region is known for its Mediterranean climate, as well as for being the hub of the entertainment industry. The Los Angeles area has the third-largest gross metropolitan product in the world, at $831 billion (as of the last measurement, in 2008). As of the 2010 census, the Los Angeles area had a population of 3,792,621 and is one of the most racially and ethnically diverse cities in the country.
FAQ: What do I need to know about probate if I was named executor of a loved one’s estate in Los Angeles, CA?
Probate is a multifaceted process, so there is much to know if you are named executor of a loved one’s estate. First and foremost, it is important to determine whether the deceased individual left a will, and to locate that will, as well as the contact information of any estate beneficiaries. In many cases, deceased individuals will leave special instructions for the executor as to the distribution of assets, and where assets are located. Identifying the decedent’s assets, including life insurance policies, real estate, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, investment accounts, and business assets, is also important. Determining how to access digital records can be crucial to obtaining a full picture of the decedent’s assets and liabilities. The executor will also be required to determine whether any estate taxes will be owed based on the value of the estate’s assets.
FAQ: How much does the probate process in Los Angeles, CA cost?
Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer to this question. Filing the probate petition will cost about $450, and an additional similar fee will be required to file the petition for final asset distribution. There are also several hundred dollars in expenses required for publication of notices, payment of court-appointed probate referees, and, in many estates, payment of bond premiums. Attorney fees are calculated on a sliding scale based on the value of the assets in the estate and are typically only paid at the conclusion of the estate proceeding. Essentially, the cost of a Los Angeles probate depends on how complicated the particular probate becomes. An experienced lawyer can evaluate your case to determine the eventual court costs that may be required.