Probate is the process by which a state court will oversee the collection, evaluation, and distribution of an estate after someone’s death.  Generally speaking, any property someone owns, including real property, bank accounts, and tangible personal property, can become part of a probate estate. 
While continued cuts to our state budget have caused increased fees related to these proceedings and decreased court resources, we remain committed to assisting our clients in navigating the process as quickly and efficiently as possible. 
Before the property in an estate can be distributed, the personal representative must comply with a variety of requirements, including noticing all of the decedent’s heirs and beneficiaries, providing publication and notifying creditors.  We assist our clients with these steps as well as with the coordination of the probate referee’s appraisal of the estate’s assets, payment of the estate’s taxes and creditor claims, division of assets, and ultimate distribution.
In large part, the costs for a full administration are determined by statute and based on the total assessed value of an estate.  Thus, many Californians choose to utilize trust-based estate plans to avoid some of the costs inherent in proceedings. 

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