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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.