Has A Loved One Passed Away With No Estate Plan Or Only A Will?
We are very sorry if you recently lost a loved one. We know from first-hand experience how difficult this time can be. If a loved one has passed away in California owning real estate or with assets over $150,000 and no Living Trust (or only a will), then chances are you will have to open a Probate Court proceeding to settle the estate.
The Probate Process
The California Probate Court Process has three major downsides (some would say evils):
- The Probate Court Process is Slow – Even without anyone challenging the will or the estate the average probate takes 16 months in California. We wish we could speed it up, but the court process has mandatory time periods to wait for creditor claims, the initial hearing to appoint the representative, the assignment of a probate referee to appraise property, the filing of Inventories and Appraisals, making sure an accounting and all debts and claims are paid, heirs have been notified, and the court approves the process. Even if the decedent had a will – a probate court proceeding will be required if the asset thresholds are met.
- The Probate Court Process is Public – All documents filed with the court are open to the general public. This means that anyone can see the details of a decedent’s estate (the assets and heirs who will be receiving the assets).
- The Probate Court Process is Expensive — The average probate cost is 5% of the gross fair market value of the decedent’s assets going through probate. This means thousands of dollars depending upon the value of the estate.
This is the bad news. The good news is with the help of KR Hess Law, and attorney Kristina R. Hess, we will make the process as painless as possible, handling all of the court filings, court appearances and work, so that you can rest easy and get through the process as quickly and smoothly as possible.
KR Hess Law Team:
- Handled 100’s of California Probates over Many Years and has the experience you need;
- Will keep you informed every step of the way and outline the process for you so you know what to expect;
- Will take the Legal Burden off your shoulders so you can process and heal through this difficult time with less stress;
- Will do our best to help you foster family harmony and peace through this difficult time.
If you may need a Probate, please contact our office for a complimentary 30 minute Probate Consultation.
It may be too late for your loved ones if they passed away without a Living Trust or Estate Plan, but it is not too late for you to make sure your loved ones avoid probate and have things flow smoothly without court intervention. San Diego Probate Attorney Kristina Hess can help you avoid the pain, frustration, family division, time and expense of navigating the California Probate Court by creating an estate plan or living trust that will protect and provide for your loved ones when the unexpected happens.
It is devastating to lose a loved one, and feuds over the estate only exacerbate an already painful situation. These family debates can also eat away at the estate through attorney’s fees and the time and energy of those involved.
If you own real property in the state of California valued in excess of $20,000, you can avoid probate for your loved ones by setting up a living trust in which you make your wishes known, and your assets are properly owned and funded. Create legacies that last and avoid family upheaval with simple estate planning. Start today.