San Diego Probate Attorney

Probate is the judicial process through which a deceased person’s debts are settled and his or her property is distributed to its new owners. As a judicial process, probate requires going to court, which takes time and can be expensive. With an experienced probate attorney from Legacy, APC by your side, you can minimize the time and cost of probate and ensure its successful completion.

What Happens in Probate?

All probate proceedings have some elements in common: During probate, a deceased person’s property will be taken over and managed by a personal representative appointed by the court. The personal representative will use the probate property to pay off any remaining debts of the deceased person, and ultimately distribute that property to its new owners.

However, the details of what must be done in probate can vary considerably from case to case. For example:

  • Probate Without a Will: When a person dies without leaving a Will, his or her property will be distributed according to California state law. Probate then involves identifying the person’s heirs, paying off any remaining debts, and transferring the person’s property to those heirs.
  • Probate with a Will: If a person dies with a valid Will, his or her property will be distributed according to what the Will says. The people named in the Will as beneficiaries must go to court and prove that the Will is valid and pay off any remaining debts using the deceased persons’ property before they can receive it.
  • Probate with a Trust: Probate plays a role even when there is an estate plan using a living trust. That’s because people don’t always transfer all of their property into their living trust while they are alive, leaving some of it to be transferred to the trust under a Will.
  • Ancillary Probate: Many people who live outside of California own real estate in California. When those people die, they not only undergo probate in the place where they lived, but they must also go through probate in California for their real estate. The converse is true for Californians with property in other states.

How a California Probate Attorney Helps

Probate in California is notoriously complex, expensive, and time-consuming. The best way to avoid these problems is through estate planning beforehand, but not everyone has a chance to develop an estate plan before death. In those circumstances, Legacy, APC helps guide clients through the probate process as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

Contact Us to Learn More About Our Estate Planning Services

You can reach us by email or telephone at (619) 696-0778 to learn how we can serve you.