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Probate Without A Will/ Intestate Succession

Probate Without A Will Lawyer Los Angeles, CA

Intestate Succession Attorneys Assist with Probate Matters in Chatsworth, Mission Hills, and Throughout California

In California and elsewhere, the probate process is a formal, court-supervised process through which estate property is identified, appraised, and distributed in accordance with the terms of the applicable Will. Simply put, the estate is “wound down” and a full accounting of the estate and its assets is made. Taxes and debts are paid, too.

Depending on the nature and extent of the estate assets at issue, as well as the likelihood of conflict between beneficiaries or even between creditors, the California probate process may require a substantial infusion of time, effort, and financial resources. In some cases, probate can take one or two years to fully resolve. As such, probate is generally seen as a process that is best avoided, when possible. If you only have a properly executed Will in place, however, and your estate assets (qualifying for probate) are worth greater than $100,000, then you may have to go through the court-supervised probate process.

It’s worth noting that probate isn’t all bad. Though it can be demanding, probate — at the very least — ensures that the desires of the deceased individual (expressed in the Will) are properly evaluated and the assets are distributed accordingly.

Confusion sets in when there is no Will.

Though it may come as a surprise, the failure to execute a Will (and other planning documents, such as a financial power of attorney or an advanced healthcare directive) is unfortunately common in California and elsewhere. Many people wait too long to execute a Will, thinking that they will eventually “get around to it.” In some cases, that time simply never comes.

What Happens If You Die Without a Will in Los Angeles, CA?

If you die without a Will, your assets will still have to go through the probate process in California.

Under normal circumstances, when you execute a valid Will, you can identify who you wish to serve as the administrator of the estate. When there is no valid Will, however, the probate court will appoint a qualified administrator to perform the duties required under law. The administrator will identify and appraise the estate assets, account for taxes and debts, notify all relevant parties as to the probate hearings, and manage expenses, among other things.

All is not necessarily lost without a valid Will having been put in place. Your assets will not disappear overnight, nor will your assets be funneled straight into the government’s coffers. In fact, California law establishes default distribution rules known as “intestate succession” that guide the distribution of covered estate assets in the event that no valid Will exists.

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What Sets Darrell C. Harriman Apart?

Helping Clients With Their Since 1980
  • Practicing Since 1980

    I have over four decades of helping my clients through the legal process.

  • Personalized, Responsive Service

    I'll craft a personalized strategy that fits the specific needs of your case.

  • Clear Answers In Plain Language

    Simplifying complex legal issues enables you to make informed decisions.

  • Proactive Representation

    As a seasoned attorney, I work to anticipate any issues you may face in your case.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Chatsworth Probate Attorney

Here at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman in North Hills, CA, I provide comprehensive estate planning services (so that probate without a Will can be avoided), as well as legal representation throughout the probate process. In situations where no valid Will has been executed, I can serve as probate administrators and ensure that the process is navigated smoothly to the benefit of the estate and the relevant beneficiaries.

Though I am a California-based attorney, I have more than four decades of experience representing both in-state and out-of-state clients.

Interested in speaking with an experienced Northridge probate attorney? Contact the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman at (818) 892-7093 or submit an online form today to schedule a free consultation.

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