Hiring a Probate Attorney in Los Angeles
Probate administration begins when a person who has a will (or no will) passes away. The process of probate administration involves verifying the legitimacy of a will, if any and then transferring any assets from the deceased individual to the beneficiaries stated on the will or the heirs of the estate. One essential role for in the process is the executor of the will. This person is responsible for managing and carrying out directions stipulated in the will. This individual is also responsible for protecting the interests of the deceased person’s estate until all assets are distributed and all debts and taxes are paid.
When issues arise during probate administration, it sometimes warrants probate litigation. This can be due to disagreements among beneficiaries or executors. Other valid reasons include:
- Questioning whether a will is legal.
- How assets should be divided.
- How the will should be interpreted.
- Disagreements over an executor’s status.
Whether an individual needs helps administering the terms of a will or trust, or they are having a disagreement over the assets involved in the will or an estate, an experienced Los Angeles probate attorney can assist. Our probate lawyers can act as a neutral third party to assist in determining the legality of a will and making sure that the wishes of the deceased are carried out through the terms of the will.
Probate, Trust, and Estate Administration in California
In the matter of probate, trust, and estate administration in California, we can assist administrators, trustees, and executors with carrying out the terms of the will, any formalities, and ensuring that a will, trust, or estate is legal.
The probate process involves verifying the legal status of a will and thus transferring the assets to beneficiaries outlined in the will. The probate process can be difficult to navigate especially if the deceased person had any of the dictated properties in their estate:
- Multiple bank accounts
- Numerous properties
- Large amounts of wealth
- Other valuable assets
If a deceased person doesn’t have a will, then State law would dictate what to do with the person’s assets.
For a trust, there is a fiduciary that is appointed to account and manage the funds of the trustor. This person is called a trustee and has numerous responsibilities that, if not done correctly, can have legal consequences down the line. Some basic requirements for a trustee in trust administration includes:
- Avoid conflict of interest
- Meet trust accounting requirements
- Act in the grantor’s and beneficiaries best interest
- Refrain from profiting off the position of trustee
In estate administration, an individual is assigned the responsibility of overseeing a deceased person’s estate. This estate consists of any money or property that the person has left behind after death. While most matters of estate administration can proceed without issues, there are situations where disagreements arise around the terms of administration or the efficiency of the administrator. This can result in estate litigation and at this point, having a skilled Los Angeles probate attorney would be necessary.
Probate, Trust, and Estate Litigation in California
Often probate, trust, and estate administration will not proceed smoothly. There may be disputes or disagreements between all involved parties. Some common disputes that can rise which would result in probate, trust, or estate litigation are:
- Beneficiary dispute – this occurs when beneficiaries of a will are in disagreement between the division of assets.
- Will contests – the purpose of a will is to determine how a deceased person’s assets, property, and estate are to be divided. However, in some cases, beneficiaries might contest the validity of a will or its content or conditions.
- Inheritance dispute – this occurs when heir of an estate have a dispute over the distribution and who may be entitled to the distribution to the transfer of the decedent’s assets.
- Fiduciary dispute – as a fiduciary, you are required to act in an ethical, responsible manner during a trust proceeding. Fiduciary disputes can arise when the fiduciary acts in an inappropriate or negligent manner or if the fiduciary is being confronted by beneficiaries or heirs due to disagreements over the trust.
The Probate Attorney at the Law Office of Colette T. Davis serves clients in the Los Angeles area
Before a person dies, they usually have a will, trust, or other form that dictates what will happen to their
estate once they pass away. It is crucial to the individual that these affairs are handled correctly so the will or trust is carried out in the manner it is intended. Additionally, if there are disputes or disagreements, it is imperative that they are resolved quickly and efficiently.
For matters of probate, it is important that you contact a robust Los Angeles probate lawyer to get your affairs in order and to aid in the management of your estate and help your beneficiaries when you pass away.