Why do I need a Probate Lawyer?
Asher A. Levin is an experienced California Probate
Attorney. Probate is the court proceeding for supervision of the
transfer of the assets left after your death to your heirs or
beneficiaries. If you have a properly drafted and funded living
trust, probate can usually be avoided.
Whether or not you have a Will, if you leave real
property or assets in excess of $150,000 that are not properly
gifted, and if you do not have a properly drafted and funded Trust,
a probate will be required by law.
A typical Probate will take about a year from the
date of filing to the date of distribution to your beneficiaries.
Probate involves a number of steps that an experienced Probate
Attorney will be able to perform for you: obtain appointment of an
administrator or executor, give notice to creditors, collect and
appraise assets, sale of certain assets, negotiation and payment of
valid creditors claims and other estate expenses. When this is
completed and the estate is ready to close, the court must approve
an accounting which shows all assets received, gains or losses from
sale of any assets, claims filed and paid or denied, tax returns
filed, provisions for payment of the administrator or executor and
the probate attorney for the estate and, finally, the proposed
distribution to the beneficiaries.
In addition to the time factor, probates have other
disadvantages, including their public nature and the fees charged
(pursuant to a statutory schedule). Probate fees will usually total
(between the executor and the attorney) in the neighborhood of 6-7%
of the gross value of the probate estate.
Sometimes, an Experienced Probate and Probate
Litigation Attorney may be able to use the Probate Court procedures
that will save the Estate and the Heirs time and money. For
example, if there is an issue concerning ownership of real property
of a deceased person, Probate Code Section 850 provides for a
procedure that may be quicker and cheaper than a civil case lawsuit
to Quiet Title. An an Experienced Probate Attorney, Asher Levin has
used that procedure to establish ownership of real property for a
nephew who purchased decedent’s interest in the property prior to
her death. In another case, Asher Levin used that procedure to
establish that property was not held in the Probate estate, but had
been transferred to a Corporation.
Many firms use outside contractors (paralegals who
work for other attorneys) to assist with their probates. At the Law
Office of Asher A. Levin, we have an experienced Probate Attorney
and staff, making us more responsive and able to move the probate
process along in a quicker manner than other firms. Faster
resolution of probate is appreciated by our clients.