Probate refers to the legal process of finalizing a person’s affairs once they have passed away. This includes making sure that a person’s assets are distributed according to his or her wishes as outlined in a will, or if no will, according to California law.
In any case, dealing with the loss of a family member or someone close can be stressful, confusing and even overwhelming. The Hedtke Law Firm is dedicated to making probate as efficient and as easy as possible. We support our clients through each step of the probate process: from gathering and valuing assets, to sorting out income, estate, and capital gains taxes, to property sales if necessary. Our team knows you have enough to worry about, and we’re here to help you through this challenging time.
When someone dies, with a will or intestate (without a will), the estate (assets and liabilities of the deceased) must pass through a probate proceeding prior to distribution to heirs. Probate serves six functions:
If the deceased resided in California at the time of death, then you must initiate your probate in the probate court of the county of the deceased’s residence.
If someone dies without leaving a will, probate is still required, and California’s probate law directs who receives the estate upon completion of the probate process.
Considerations that Complicate the Probate Process
A number of issues can make the probate process considerably more complex:
Questions Answered and Challenges Resolved
Clients often ask, “Do I need a probate lawyer?” The answer is an easy, “Yes,” because California probate becomes an even more challenging process if even one of the following problems develops:
A California probate attorney will help smooth your way through inevitable challenges in the probate process. Probate law in California is complicated and can be a burden to understand. For yourself, family and friends, loss of your loved one is emotionally and physically challenging enough. The tremendous additional responsibilities, challenges and stress of legal proceedings and paperwork may be the last thing you want to adopt.
We specialize in cost-effective, efficient and highly personalized guidance throughout the probate process. From initial paperwork and filing all the way to final distribution and court closure, we stand side-by-side with you as trusted counsel.