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California Probate Lawyer

California Probate Lawyer

Probate Lawyers Help Clients Navigate Probate Administration Throughout California

The California probate code is voluminous and complex and can be difficult for an inexperienced personal representative to navigate—especially in the wake of the traumatic loss of a loved one or close friend. Both federal and state laws, as well as case law, often must be considered in order to successfully proceed through probate in California. Although probate would be avoided altogether in the ideal case, it is often not possible to avoid—but with the help of an experienced probate lawyer, you can minimize conflicts and work to avoid probate litigation.

The probate experience is, unfortunately, often unpleasant, and the primary goal upon entering probate should be to move as efficiently and swiftly as possible through the process. If you have been named personal representative of a loved one’s estate, contact an experienced probate lawyer to obtain the advice needed to accomplish these goals and exit probate as quickly as possible under the circumstances.

When is Probate Necessary Under California Law?

Under California Probate Code Section 13100, only estates that are valued at more than $150,000 are required to go through the probate process. This amount is adjusted from time to time, so it is important to consult with a probate lawyer to determine whether an estate that you are administering must go through probate. Despite this firm cap, several types of assets are excluded from probate because of the ownership structure of those assets, including:

  • Property owned in a joint tenancy with a third party,
  • Property owned as survivorship community property with the deceased individual’s surviving spouse,
  • Certain property that has been placed in a properly structured living trust or revocable living trust,
  • Property held in certain types of “payable on death” or joint accounts, such as bank accounts or CDs where the deceased individual has specified that a particular beneficiary will receive the account upon his or her death,
  • IRAs, 401(k)s, life insurance and other types of accounts that designate a beneficiary who will receive the assets upon the owner’s death.

The probate process can also be simplified when the assets are inherited by a surviving spouse in situations where the decedent and surviving spouse did not own the property jointly.

The personal representative of an estate generally has the duty to organize and inventory all of the deceased individual’s assets—a process known as “marshaling”. He or she is then required to file the inventory of all assets that will be subject to probate with the probate court, along with an appraisal.

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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.

The Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman is Here to Help With Your Probate Case

Questions about the California probate rules can arise at any point during the probate process. Even if you have already filed the initial probate paperwork, contact an experienced probate lawyer if you have questions or concerns with how your probate case is proceeding. As a skilled probate lawyer, I'm here to help. Fill out the online contact form to schedule a confidential consultation with me today.

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