Losing a family member is a challenging chapter in anyone’s life. That is why the last thing you want to worry about during this time is dealing with your loved one’s financial responsibilities, including paying their remaining debts and making sure their property is distributed correctly. Thankfully, you will not have to tackle this demanding process alone. With an Orange County probate lawyer on your side, these estate planning attorneys can help settle these debts and ensure the distribution of assets is completed properly after your loved one passes away.
Probate is the legal process of reviewing the assets of a deceased individual and determining inheritors. Or, more simply put, probate is the legal process an estate will go through when an individual passes away. During this process, the court will start distributing the estate to the proper heirs.
In general, probate is more straightforward when individuals create a Will before they pass away that defines their wishes, such as explicitly naming their Beneficiaries and the individual (Executor) in charge of overseeing their final wishes.
In California, probate is generally required after an individual passes away. However, different types of probates may be applicable depending on the estate. For instance, simplified procedures can be used if the estate’s value is less than $166,250. Or, if assets are attached to a surviving owner or a beneficiary, then probate may not even be necessary. Take, for example, life insurance policies. If these policies have a named beneficiary, they would automatically transfer to that person without going through probate.
California’s probate system is complex and has many technical rules and pitfalls that can result in numerous issues for families. Fortunately, when you work with an Orange County probate lawyer, you will not have to figure out these procedures on your own. These attorneys can help you get through the probate process as they work to settle the estate. More specifically, these lawyers can:
However, it is important to note that the probate lawyer will either be representing the executor or an interested party. They cannot represent both in the same case due to a conflict of interest.
Although many people assume that every object, document, or asset will have to go through probate after their loved one dies, in truth, not all the assets under the decedent’s control will be subject to probate. For instance, property that is not owned individually by the decedent can be considered a non-probate asset. In addition, the following assets and accounts will also usually pass outside the probate process:
When it is time to go through the probate process, you should reach out to an experienced and knowledgeable Orange County probate lawyer as soon as possible. These attorneys can ensure that all the stages of the probate process are completed according to the state’s laws and help you figure out if probate is even necessary, saving you a lot of stress, money, and time.
That is why do not wait any longer to get the legal help you require. Instead, contact an experienced Orange County probate lawyer today to learn more about this probate process and how these attorneys can help you.
Contact us today to schedule a planning session to discuss your probate situation.
First, you’ll attend a planning session with us to discuss your family’s options regarding the administration.
We’ll identify what legal strategies will work best to administer your loved one’s estate.
You’ll have peace of mind knowing that the administration was handled efficiently and compassionately.
No one wants to think about getting seriously ill or dying, but these are scenarios we must prepare for to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our money, especially during the pandemic. With courts closed and hospitals prohibiting loved ones from sitting by your bedside, we will show you step by step how to legally formalize your wishes and ensure they will be followed, bringing you total protection and peace of mind!
Our overall experience was one of satisfaction as well as a learning experience. The people at The Meier Law Firm are extremely knowledgeable within Family Trust planning. They did a good job of explaining each step of the process in a manner that we could understand. They were always punctual when meeting with us, and the meetings were always concise and comforting. They were also pleasant and friendly.
My brother had lost his living trust documents. Suddenly, we found out he has stage 4 cancer. We called Meier and they were able to put together an updated trust in less than a week. Everyone at the firm was wonderful and caring. Melanie was our attorney. If you are looking for a caring, honest law firm, Meier is the one for you!
Our experience with the Meier Law Firm was positive from our first meeting with Jessica, through the final product we received last week. Very professional yet personable. Every question was answered & suggestions made to simplify our Trusts. Their attention to detail gave us confidence in their work.
We were introduced to Meier Law Firm through a learning session at our daughter’s school district. We eventually decided to establish a family trust, as well as a special needs trust, through their firm. The team at Meier Law Firm were professional and incredibly responsive to our family’s needs. I highly recommend their legal services.
Just thinking about creating a trust or a will can be overwhelming. But Meier Law Firm makes it easy. They tell you what you need to know, ask all of the right questions, & provide great practical suggestions along the way that go far beyond the legal checklist. Highly recommend them for personal, professional service to deliver what you need in a timely manner.
Not only do they provide expert guidance; they will walk the journey with you step-by-step to help with your family trust. They execute at high levels, are very responsive, and deliver the optimal results within difficult situations. You definitely want Meier Law Group on your side of the table. I give my highest recommendation!
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In Good Parents Worry, Great Parents Plan, estate planning attorney and mother Laura Meier shows you the legal and practical steps you must take to protect your children from temporary foster care, courtrooms, loss of inheritance, and other turmoil most kids experience when their parents pass away.
“Laura Meier’s The Family Nest Egg gives parents the tools they need to find confidence, stop worrying, and secure the financial future for their loved ones. Laura’s real-life stories and actionable advice make this read a trustworthy resource for budgeting, investing, and preparing for a financial crisis.”
Even though both an estate lawyer and a probate attorney generally practice in the same area of law, there are usually numerous differences between the two.
Generally, a probate lawyer will handle the process of estate and trust administration once an individual passes away, while an estate planning lawyer will work with living clients on how their estate will be administrated. As a result, these attorneys often help clients prepare Wills, trusts, and other relevant documents.
Before retaining a probate lawyer, it is a good idea to find more about these attorneys and how they can help you. For these reasons, you should consider asking them the following questions:
While it is possible to go through the probate process without a lawyer, it is always best that you reach out to an experienced Orange County probate lawyer to ensure the process is completed accurately and according to the state’s laws. This can prevent massive issues from arising when it comes to the distribution of the estate and make the whole process that much easier for you and your family.
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