Placer Probate Lawyer

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Placer Probate Attorney

Probate refers to a special type of court case meant to resolve the estate of a deceased party. This includes settling the decedent’s debts as well as distributing their remaining worldly assets to beneficiaries such as spouses, children, or business partners.

In the simplest probate matters, the decedent will have left behind a valid and legally binding last will and testament, making the execution of the estate a very straightforward matter. In such cases, the heirs of the deceased usually get their inheritance, and the case is quickly resolved with minimal involvement from the court. A judge needs to validate the will so that the designated executor can proceed with distributing assets and settling debts.

When there is no last will and testament on file, or the will is invalid or contested, an extremely complex probate case can ensue. Even the best probate cases often move through the courts slowly. Probate cases can take months to even over a year to settle.

If you need help with probate in California contact McCunn Law today.

If you are involved in the trust probate process, you need a compassionate probate attorney who can protect you and your family’s best interests. For more information about our probate and estate services, contact our office online or call (916) 773-6100 to speak with a member of our team today.

Call (916) 773-6100

The Probate Process – Step by Step

The probate process can be complex, with many involved parties and moving parts. Here’s an outline of what a typical probate case looks like:

  1. The court determines if a valid will exists. If it does not, the estate must enter the probate process.
  2. A legal representative of the estate is named. If there is a will, this would be the executor named therein. In a probate case, the court must appoint an administrator. California Probate Code §8461 provides a priority list for which parties the court should consider appointing as the estate administrator, beginning with spouses and domestic partners, and moving on to children and then other descendants.
  3. The administrator collects and catalogs the decedent’s assets. This includes all types of assets, from tangible physical goods like automobiles and houses to retirement accounts or intellectual property.
  4. The decedent’s debts and outstanding expenses are paid off from the estate. Assets may need to be liquidated.
  5. The administrator locates and notifies the heirs. In the absence of a will, the order of inheritance is typically defined by state law.
  6. The remaining assets are distributed to the identified heirs in accordance with the law. The exact mechanics of this process depends on the kinds of assets being distributed. In the absence of a will, the probate court has the final say in the distribution.

Being Named Probate Administrator

When you are named the administrator of a loved one’s estate, it can feel like an additional burden that you don’t want during a difficult time. Your family may be counting on you to conclude matters swiftly or in a certain way, or there may be familial drama over who gets what when the estate is finally settled. Do not panic over being given this responsibility. Being put in charge of settling an estate means the court finds you trustworthy, organized, and capable of the job.

If the probate court names you administrator of an estate, make sure to do the following:

  • Keep detailed and accurate records of all transactions and communications regarding the decedent’s properties and accounts.
  • Locate and notify all heirs and creditors.
  • Obtain certified copies of the death certificate — you may need several while closing all the decedent’s accounts.
  • Catalog all property and keep it safe until such time as the estate is settled and is passed along to the beneficiaries.
  • Keep open lines of communication with all involved parties, such as heirs, creditors, and court officials.
  • Make financial decisions in the best interests of the estate until such time as it has been distributed to the beneficiaries.
  • Cancel credit cards, subscriptions, and other items, and notify any government offices from which the decedent was receiving benefits.
  • Gain access to any online accounts, such as email, that contain important documents or digital assets
  • Prepare and file the decedent’s final income tax return.

If you need advice or assistance administering a loved one’s estate through the probate process, the probate experts at McCunn Law can help. We take a detail-oriented, highly individualized approach to probate cases so that estates can move through the probate system as quickly as possible and in accordance with your loved one’s final wishes.

Avoid Placer County Probate Court With Estate Planning Legal Services

If you have concerns about your estate entering the probate process, it’s never too late to protect your assets and your family’s future by developing a comprehensive, personalized estate plan with the experienced experts at McCunn Law. By having air-tight, professionally prepared legal documents in place, you can protect your estate from losing value in a drawn-out probate process and get your beneficiaries expedited access to the resources you’ve allotted them.

A last will and testament is not always sufficient to save your family and estate from the probate process. Some of the options we offer for building a fully comprehensive estate plan include:

  • Wills. There are other types of wills that exist besides the well-known last will and testament, and a qualified estate planning attorney can help you understand which best fits your needs.
  • Trusts. Living trusts, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, and specialized trusts all work in a slightly different way to protect and disburse your assets. Trusts are powerful tools that can be applied to complex needs, such as creating a fund for charity, disbursing assets to beneficiaries only after certain stipulations are met, or restructuring your estate’s tax liability.
  • Powers of attorney. Assigning powers of attorney ensures that only the people you have entrusted to do so are able to make decisions on your behalf. Powers of attorney may be assigned to someone else relating to all sorts of matters — finances, business interests, or the care of minor children, to name a few.
  • Healthcare directives. Advanced healthcare directives lay out specific requests regarding your end-of-life medical care. This ensures your last days are managed in accordance with your exact wishes and eliminates stressful, emotional decisions for your family.

McCunn Law – Contact Trusted Probate and Estate Planning Experts in Placer County

If you need powerful legal representation to navigate a complicated probate case and get access to the assets and benefits you’re entitled to, McCunn Law can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Why Choose McCunn Law

Our methods for handling business owner divorce and family law issues are unique. We offer legal assistance for a range of family law cases, including:

Mr. McCunn specializes in a holistic, project management approach which empowers you to make your own decisions throughout the process. He has a reputation as a peacemaker and his honest and pragmatic attitude towards divorce and other family law issues ensures you only pay for the services you need during your case.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.