It takes an enormous amount of emotional strength and energy to deal with the death of a loved one. It’s a harsh reality to face, and unfortunately, it’s something that we all must go through at some point in our lives. It’s an even greater challenge to accept that an individual’s death means that there is now a giant responsibility on our shoulders to take care of their estate. This process is called probate, which is required by law to ensure that the estate is properly managed and that all debts and taxes are paid.
If you live in California, the probate process can be even more complicated. California has some of the most detailed probate laws in the country. Failing to file for probate properly can have serious consequences. By better understanding what can happen if you don’t file probate in California, you can avoid any potential legal issues down the road.
Probate must be completed any time someone passes away and leaves behind an estate. The entire process must be completed within one year from the date of death, or the estate will be subject to penalties.
If you do not file for probate within this time frame, the estate will be considered “abandoned” by the court. This means that all the assets in the estate will be frozen and inaccessible to the beneficiaries. To have the assets released, you will need to go through a complicated and time-consuming legal process.
Some common consequences of not filing probate in California include:
As you can see, there are a number of serious consequences that can occur if you don’t file for probate in California, which can range from mild penalties to criminal prosecution. It is important to make sure that you file for probate as soon as possible after someone passes away to avoid any of these nuisances.
There are a few things that you can do to protect yourself from the consequences of not filing probate:
If you are ready to file for probate to avoid these pressing consequences or have any questions, Sweeney Probate Law can help. Sweeney Probate Law is a full-service probate law firm that has been helping families in California for many years. Contact us today to get started.