Serving Quartz Hill and the Surrounding Areas

"Your guide through the legal minefield"

Robert L. Plunkett Attorney At Law-Logo
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Welcome to my blog in the weeks to come, I will post answers to common questions concerning estate planning.

 

 

By plunkettrob3585241, Dec 1 2016 06:15PM

Probates in California have built-in delays. First, the court has to hear the probate petition. How quickly it is heard depends on the court and the particular judge. It could be six weeks. It could be six months. It could be slightly shorter or a lot longer. Then, the court has to sign the papers giving the personal representative the power to administer the estate. That can take days or weeks.


Once the petitioner is appointed and the papers issued, creditors have to be given four more months to file claims. At the end of that four months, the Final Account, etc. can be filed. The Final Account also needs to be heard by the court, which means another delay like that for the original petition.


If the Final Account, etc. is approved, the order must be signed and the assets distributed. Once the distribution is completed, including recording all necessary documents, and when all receipts and releases have been signed, the personal representative can petition for discharge. Once the discharge is granted and the bond, if any, has been exonerated, the case can be closed.


There is no limit on how long it can take, though at some point the court will have to be informed as to why it is taking so long. Some have taken decades.


This describes a normal probate proceeding. Even where someone has died without taking the necessary steps to avoid probate, there may still be a way to bypass the court process altogether or an available proceeding that is less expensive and time-consuming than a regular probate. I am familiar with these and may discuss some of them later.


The statements here are general and may not apply to specific situations. If you have a specific legal problem, contact an attorney.


Robert

By plunkettrob3585241, Nov 22 2016 06:45PM

ANSWER: No, but living trusts, done properly, do.


Wills are simply instructions to the court as to who is to get your property when you pass away as well as who you want to be in charge of your estate. As long as you pass away owning assets, subject to probate, whose value exceeds a certain amount, a probate will be necessary.


I’ll explain the hows and whys later, but for now, I’ll give you the simple version of why trusts can keep your estate out of probate. Put simply, a properly done trust takes your assets out of your estate and makes them trust assets. Then, technically, you die without any assets that are subject to probate.


This is a big subject and I plan to post more details and information in the weeks to come.


You can call or email me if you want more information about this. My phone number is (661) 722-3585 and my email is robplunkett@robplunkett.com.


The opinions stated herein are general and might not apply to specific situations. If you have a specific legal problem, you should contact and attorney.



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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE, WILL AND RELATED FIELDS