Never heard the term probate before you were not alone. Probate is when the court supervises the processes that transfer legal titles of property from the estate of the deceased otherwise known as the decedent, to his or her beneficiaries. Often times you have developed court forms and appear in court to prove to the court that the will is valid, appoint a legal representative with the authority to act on behalf of the decedent, identify an inventory of the decedent’s property and have the property appraised, pay debt, and taxes and distribute the remaining property according to the terms of the will or to the decedent’s heirs.
Because the probe up process is so in-depth and long, with a lot of forms and things that have to happen just so it might be in your best interest to hire a probate lawyer such as the ones available at the Yee Law Group. Your probate lawyer in Sacramento, CA, is going to have all of the knowledge about the probate process and they can walk you through it.
Probate is necessary only if the person who died had property transfer, otherwise probate is not necessary. The decedent’s surviving family may decide to open probate if there are debts owed or if there is a needed deadline for creditors to file a claim. When there is property to transfer, the probate process also provides for the distribution of the estate property to the decedent’s heirs.
You might be wondering if all property goes through probate when a person dies, and the term probate estate refers to any property subject to the authority of the probate court but not all property is subjected to the authority of the court. Assets distributed outside of the probate process are part of a person’s non-probate estate. And in California, there are simplified procedures for transferring property for estates worth a certain amount from $20,000- $150,000. There is also an easy way to transfer property to a surviving spouse, property held in joint tenancy or community property with right of survivorship and life insurance and retirement benefits.
If you have questions about the simplified probate process, then you should talk to a probate lawyer in Sacramento, CA. They are going to know the state and federal laws that apply. There may be claims that make probate the better option, and if there are a lot of issues with the estate than going to probate allows you to pay the person who does the creditors and taxing authorities.
It’s good to note that life insurance benefits are paid directly to the named beneficiary. Money from IRAs, Keoghs and 401(k)s transfer automatically as long as the persons are named as beneficiaries. Bank accounts that are set up to pay on death accounts or trust in trust for accounts with the named beneficiary also passed to the beneficiary without going through probate. Ask your lawyer if you are curious about what goes through probate and what does not.