If you’ve ever had to go through probate, then you already know there are a lot of complicated laws and processes to muddle through from start to finish. Because of this, you may not be sure what your legal rights are, so it’s important to get advice from an attorney who specializes in probate and estate planning. With guidance from an experienced estate planning attorney, you can learn how to avoid mistakes, making sure the process goes more smoothly for everyone involved. This blog post was written to provide some insight and tips from a Pleasanton probate lawyer. Let’s talk about some of the basics…
File a Petition for Probate
If you’re the executor of the estate, you’ll need to file a probate petition to start the legal process. One thing to keep in mind is that this step needs to be completed in the county where the deceased person lived. It’s also necessary to submit their birth certificate, as well as their will—if one was left behind.
Inventory Debts and Assets
You will also need to take account of the deceased person’s debts and assets. Note that creditor claims are prioritized, so it’s essential to have a clear picture of the complete financial situation before assets are distributed to beneficiaries. Often, there are also applicable taxes to consider, like a final income tax on the estate. You may wish to set up an account in order to pay off these final expenses. A special estate account can help you keep track of everything, which is key to balancing your stress during this time.
Once all debts are paid in full, any remaining assets can then be designated to their rightful heirs. If there isn’t a will, however, there will be an extra step in this process because the probate court will need to decide who the legal beneficiaries are.
Work with a Probate Lawyer
Working with an experienced probate attorney has several significant benefits to consider. Some of the main advantages of hiring a probate lawyer include knowing your legal rights, understanding the probate process, how to avoid costly legal mistakes, and having someone who can answer your questions as they come up.
Talk to a Pleasanton Probate Lawyer
Probate can seem like a complex and confusing ordeal because it can be, but an experienced lawyer is able to guide you through the process. If your loved one has passed away without leaving a will, it’s important to understand what steps need to be taken in order for their belongings to be distributed. This can be especially stressful if there are family disputes. But at Lewman Law, we’re here for you each step of the way. We can take care of all the necessary paperwork, and we even provide a free initial consultation. To talk to a Pleasanton probate lawyer, please contact us today by calling (925) 447-1250.