Roseville Probate Lawyer

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Roseville Probate Lawyer

Experiencing the death of a loved one is one of life’s most painful struggles. You may find yourself suddenly confronted with overwhelming responsibilities and decisions along with feelings of grief and loss. When this happens, it is important to ensure their estate is dealt with according to their final wishes. This often includes preparing an inventory of all assets and debts, collecting any outstanding balances owed on loans or mortgages, and determining who should be responsible for each asset in the deceased person’s name. If you are dealing with this task alone, it can be challenging to know where to start. Fortunately, legal expertise from attorneys who specialize in probate law can make it easier for you to handle this process.

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

Ensuring the Best Probate Legal Services for Roseville, California

The Roseville probate lawyers at McCunn Law are ready to help you navigate any legal issues you face during this difficult time. We understand that you want to fulfill your obligations as quickly and responsibly as possible,yet dealing with the estate administration process can be confusing and frustrating. You may face various complicated issues that seem impossible to navigate on your own. Our attorneys are here to help you every step of the way, so you can focus on mourning your loved one and moving forward while we handle everything else.

What Is Probate?

The first step of managing a decedent’s estate is undergoing probate, the court-supervised process required to settle an estate’s financial and legal affairs.Probate must be completed before the terms of the will canbe executed and before beneficiaries can receive access to their inheritances. In many cases, a will or estate plan will designate an administrator to handle these responsibilities. If no such document can be found, then the court may appoint an administrator to this position.

Court cases regarding probate typically deal with:

  • Assessing the validity of a will
  • Establishing the identity and authenticity of witnesses to a will
  • Identifying estate representatives, beneficiaries, and next of kin
  • Creating an inventory of all assets in an estate, including real property (e.g., homes, land), personal property (e.g., vehicles and other valuables), accounts in banks or investment firms, and cash on hand
  • Appraising these assets to determine the overall value of the descendant’sproperty
  • Analyzing the validity of creditor claims
  • Paying estate debts and taxes, including property tax liens on any real estate owned by the deceased person
  • Determining whether estate taxes are owed and paying them if necessary
  • Ensuing all other outstanding financial obligations are met
  • Distributing the remaining estate assets to beneficiaries according to the terms of the will or state law

What Is a Probate Lawyer?

Probate lawyers are attorneys who specialize in probate law.They offer legal representation and expert guidance to handle any legal issues that may arise when an individual dies, such as deciding how to distribute their assets. They work directly with executors by ensuring they understand the legal responsibilities of their role and may be involved in court proceedings on behalf of beneficiaries. Probate lawyers also typically serve as estate planning attorneys, helping individuals avoid probate by creating wills, trusts, and other legally binding estate planning documents. A Roseville probate attorney can be an incredibly valuable advocate for anyone who wishes to secure the future of their estate for their loved ones.

What Does a Probate Lawyer Do for You?

Probate lawyers can help family members avoid probate to streamline the process of transferring the assets and property within an estate to a decedent’s beneficiaries. Probate lawyers draft wills, trusts, and other estate planning law documents that help clients control how their property is managed, preserved, and distributed after their death. These attorneys can also help an executor with the process of administering an estate. Estate administration can be a complex task, and even minor mistakes can have a serious impact on beneficiaries, so securing legal representation as soon as possible is crucial for obtaining the best outcome in a case.

A probate lawyer can assist executors by:

  • Explaining their rights and responsibilities
  • Accurately and completely preparing all court documents
  • Promptly filing them according to probate law
  • Ensuring all deadlines are met
  • Identifying, compiling, and appraising the assets and property in an estate
  • Coordinating a real estate appraisal of a home
  • Managing the checking account of an estate
  • Determining all estate assets and liabilities
  • Collecting on a life insurance policy payout
  • Assessing and ensuring payment of all taxes, including inheritance and income taxes
  • Managing monetary distributions and trust administration
  • Retitling assets in the names of beneficiaries
  • Distributing all assets according to the terms of a will or estate plan

Do I Need a Probate Lawyer?

While hiring a probate lawyer is not a requirement for completing the probate process, this approach is highly recommended. If you are thinking about hiring a Roseville probate lawyer, it is important to understand that situations may arise that you cannot reasonably handle on your own. You may need to hire an attorney if any of the following apply to your situation:

  • You are the executor of a decedent’s estate and need help administering the estate.
  • The will of your loved one makes you a beneficiary, but you want to make changes to it or challenge its validity.
  • You are the beneficiary of an estate and want to challenge a will or trust document.
  • Your current legal issues involve probate, wills, trusts, and estate administration.
  • You have questions about how to avoid probate or who can serve as an executor.

It is typical for probate proceedings to take several months (or even years) and involve multiple court hearings and other deadlines. If you are appointed as an administrator, may need to hire an attorney, accountant, or financial advisor to assist with probate administration. You may also be responsible for filing estate tax returns and paying any federal estate taxes owed. Securing representation from an experienced probate lawyer can help you understand your obligations, answer your questions, and protect you throughout the probate process.

Numerous legal issues can make probate more complicated, expensive, and time-consuming. The larger the estate or the more nuanced the provisions of the estate plan, the more likely you are to experience serious issues. An attorney can help you avoid mistakes that could lead to legal disputes or even criminal charges. Hiring an attorney is always a good choice; it becomes especially important if your legal matter involves a high-net-worth estate or an estate with significant debts and/or taxes. A probate lawyer has experience dealing with creditor claims and knows exactly how to proceed if anyone contests the terms of the will or estate plan.

What If I Want to Challenge a Probate Document?

An estate administrator has a fiduciary duty to the estate, meaning they must make decisions that are in the best interest of the estate and its beneficiaries. They are also expected to keep detailed records of all transactions to ensure they are prudently handling all assets and investments. An administrator who misuses the assets and property in an estate to serve their own interests may be guilty of theft. If you are named as a beneficiary but do not receive the assets you believe you are entitled to, you may have a valid against the executor.

Some reasons why a probate document in Roseville, CA can be challenged include:

  • The will was executed under duress.
  • The will does not follow California law requirements.
  • The person who signed the will did not understand that they were signing a legal document (i.e., the person lacked testamentary capacity).
  • The terms of the will were changed under deception, coercion, fraud, or undue influence.
  • A beneficiary did not receive notice of probate and was unaware that a probate proceeding to distribute assets was taking place.

If you are contesting a will, trust document, or other probate order because you believe that the person did not have testamentary capacity at the time of the signing, be prepared to provide evidence of this claim. An experienced Roseville probate attorney can help gather relevant medical records and other forms of evidence to support your claim.

What Assets Qualify for Probate?

If you die without a will, trust, or other estate planning document, any asset titled in your name would go through the probate process. Common assets that qualify for probate include:

  • Real estate
  • Bank accounts, including checking, savings, and certificates of deposit
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Personal belongings, such as jewelry or art
  • Vehicles (cars, boats, motorcycles)
  • Inherited retirement accounts, including IRA, 401(k), and other investments
  • Business interests, such as a partnership or sole proprietorship

Assets that are titled solely in your name may not automatically qualify for probate if they have been transferred to a trust. For example, if you own real estate that is titled in your name and you create a trust that names your niece as the successor trustee, then your real estate may not go through probate.

What Assets Are Not Subject to Probate?

Some assets may be distributed to beneficiaries without going through probate. This is because another legal entity owns the asset or because the owner of the asset has already transferred ownership to another person. Assets that may not be subject to probate include:

  • Assets held in a living trust
  • Assets held in a payable-on-death bank account
  • Life insurance policies with a designated beneficiary
  • Retirement accounts with a designated beneficiary
  • Real estate held in a joint tenancy with right of survivorship
  • Savings bonds where the owner has indicated that the bond should be redeemed, and the funds given to a specific person or organization

What Is a Spousal Property Petition?

A spousal property petition is a document that allows you to confirm that your surviving spouse owns a specific piece of property and ensure that this property will transfer to them upon your death without forcing them to go through a full probate process. Only a surviving spouse or a representative of a surviving spouse can file a spousal property petition. All real estate and personal property may be transferred with this document, and there is no limit on the value of this property, so the court does not require an official appraisal.

After the petition is filed, the court will set a date for a court hearing, and you will be expected to mail a notice of this hearing to all beneficiaries or parties named in the will. These people can appear at the hearing to consent or voice objections. In most cases, the court will approve the petition and sign a Spousal or Domestic Partner Property Order that confirms ownership.

What Are Typical Attorney Fees for Probate?

Probate attorneys may charge for their services based on a flat retainer or hourly rate. In California, they typically charge a percentage of the gross value of the total assets in a probate estate. An attorney may charge:

  • 4% of the first $100,000 of the probate estate
  • 3% for the next $100,000
  • 2% of the next $800,000
  • 1% of the next $1 million
  • 0.5% of the next $9 million
  • An amount the court considers “reasonable” for estates valued over $9 million

Because these fees vary depending on the size and complexity of an estate, larger and more complicated estates that require longer and more extensive probate processes will incur higher fees. An administrator may also be responsible for paying other probate costs set by the court, including filing fees, issuing certificate fees that authorize your ability to act on behalf of the estate, and fees for notifying beneficiaries and creditors. Out-of-pocket expenses required for administration of the estate, such as travel or tax preparation, can be paid for by the estate in advance or reimbursed.

Contact McCunn Law Group Today for Comprehensive Probate Services

If you have any questions about estate planning, probate, or the services provided by McCunn Law Firm, please schedule a consultation with our team today. Our Roseville probate lawyers are always available to provide the information you need. We are dedicated to offering comprehensive and responsive legal representation and can help you navigate any issues that may arise during estate planning or probate.With our help, you can approach this transition with confidence, protect your interests, and respect the last wishes of your loved ones.

Roseville Probate lawyer

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.