It is a sad but inarguable fact that everyone’s time eventually comes to an end. This means that many of us will inevitably end up in probate court to sort out a loved one’s estate at some point in our lives. Dealing with a long, drawn-out court case when you are already grieving the loss of a loved one can be an extremely unpleasant prospect. For some people, locating and hiring a probate attorney seems like an additional hassle that is best left avoided. In reality, the opposite is true.
While you are not required to have legal representation during the California probate process, doing so can actually take a lot of the stress and hassle associated with the probate court off of your own shoulders. A skilled probate expert or estate planning specialist can keep the probate process moving along, ensure that everything is handled correctly, and lead to better outcomes for beneficiaries and heirs.
The probate process in California can be complicated. Even cases that seem fairly routine can quickly spiral beyond the grasp of a layperson with no legal training. Missing deadlines or mishandling responsibilities given to you by the probate court can jeopardize the entire process of receiving the assets that have been bequeathed to you. For this reason, even people facing fairly simple probate matters may be better off seeking legal representation before heading to court. If you are dealing with complex, high-value assets or complicated inheritance scenarios, it would be extremely unwise to take on the process by yourself. To have the best chance of successfully completing the probate process, you should enlist the services of a skilled and experienced probate lawyer from the experts at Sweeney Probate Law.
A probate case is not a simple matter of appearing before a judge and waiting for them to award your assets. For the best results, there are proactive steps that can and must be taken at each phase of the process. Hiring a quality lawyer ensures that all these detail-oriented tasks are done correctly and on time. Here are some of the steps in the probate process that your lawyer from Sweeney Probate Law can help with:
Hiring a skilled probate attorney from Sweeney Probate Law to assist in your California probate case gives you a powerful, end-to-end resource for navigating the complex probate process and protecting your family’s legacy and wealth.
A: Yes. The court cannot legally mandate you to hire an attorney to help you with the probate process. Citizens have the same right to represent themselves in probate court as they do in any other legal proceeding. Because probate is a complex and stressful process, often involving conflict with relatives, it is not advisable to navigate the process yourself.
A: As with any legal matter, attorney fees for probate experts can vary depending on the complexity of the case, the level of services needed, and the quality of your legal representation. An attorney who is appointed to execute a will or be the personal representative of an estate through the probate process will typically collect 2 to 3% of the proceeds as a fee, although this may be in addition to other attorney fees.
A: The law in California requires that any asset that does not have a clearly designated beneficiary already in place (such as a life insurance policy or joint bank account) must go through the probate court process to be transferred to its rightful heir. A probate attorney can help you navigate this process and ensure you are receiving what you are entitled to.
A: The probate process will be different for everyone. Depending on the value of the estate, the complexity of the inheritance situation, and whether you have hired a lawyer, the end cost of a probate case can vary greatly from estate to estate. Typically, the agent assigned to execute the estate will take a fee totaling 2 to 3% of the total proceeds.
If you have recently lost a loved one and need to settle their estate, you may be thinking of going to court to take care of it on your own. Before you make that decision, consider calling the experts at Sweeney Probate Law for a consultation. Saving a little money on the front end of the process by going to court without quality legal help is simply not worth the risk of bad outcomes. You will not gain anything if someone walks away with your rightful inheritance by exploiting your lack of legal expertise. We have offices from Temecula to San Diego and are standing by to help.