LA Probate Law You Need to Know
There are many things that can happen that could divert the money and other assets from arriving in the hands of those you intended them to go to. Simple mistakes in legal documents, or not understanding what is needed to ensure a smooth transition, can lead to many unforeseen problems and much less money going to the heirs. LA Probate Law can help you to prevent those problems by providing accurate and up-to-date legal counsel before, during, or after the probate process. If obtained before death, legal counsel can be given to help ensure that the assets are put into the right hands, and that you and your heirs will pay fewer taxes on any money and assets transferred. The probate process can be complicated and time consuming, but it can be made much simpler and shorter through proper estate planning in the first place. If improperly done, assets that may be thought to be safe before death may quickly end up in the estate after death where they will be taxed at the highest rate possible – and the dispersal of them may end up under the control of the state.
Avoid Probate with Proper Estate Planning Tools
Probate law handles all of the estate of an individual after death and administers it until it is distributed into the hands of the heirs. Most attorneys that deal with probate will also deal with estate planning, as does LA Probate Law. Estate planning prepares those assets for the transfer to the heirs before death, and probate handles them after death – except for those assets that were placed into tools designed to transfer assets without tax penalties. The first step of probate is the validation of the will – if there is one. In California, a probate court will decide whether or not your will is valid. Once determined to be legitimate, an Executor of the will is assigned, who will be responsible to carry it out, and distribute the money and other assets according to the will. The Executor is usually named in the will. Then, individuals and companies that need to know are contacted via letter. This includes all possible creditors, heirs, and close relatives – just in case someone left out of the Will wants to contest it.
Ensure Correct Wording of Your Will
The wording of a Will and other legal documents can be a real source of trouble if not correct or clear. It is possible that the wording of the Will does not express the actual intent of the deceased, as the family may even later testify. This can lead to not only confusion and hard feelings, but it may even divide families and loved ones. Avoiding potential problems in probate can be resolved by contacting the Scott Schomer, an attorney at LA Probate Law. Remember also that a Will that is downloaded from the Internet or purchased in a store may not be specific to California, which can also lead to further unnecessary problems. Attorneys experienced in estate planning in the state are knowledgeable of the laws of probate and can word the Will in such a way that it is clear in its intent and will be free of most legal complications. Wording can also be directed to ensure that foreseen problems can be dealt with, too. In addition, steps can be taken to ensure that there will not be any reasonable contests against the Will that might be given if there is a possible issue with the person creating the Will being under duress or pressure, or if there is a question of coherence or sanity. If there is no Will, then it will be up to the state to determine how the assets are distributed – and it may not at all be what the deceased would have desired.
Responsibilities of the Executor
The probate process is put into the hands of the Executor. This individual will be responsible for handling of the matters concerning the estate. He or she will need to pay the bills presented against the estate, pay the funeral costs, get the property and assets assessed, pay all taxes for the deceased and the real estate, pay the probate lawyer, providing for the needs of the family, and distribute the assets according to the Will. Being appointed an Executor of a Will is a highly responsible position. The Executor will first need to locate all assets of the deceased, which may include life insurance policies, savings and bank accounts, investments, real estate properties, safe deposit boxes, and business interests. Since some of these assets may not be subject to probate, those items will need to be identified. In the distribution process, the Executor needs to collect receipts for all items distributed, and make reports to the Court and possibly to the beneficiaries about the complete process. In the case of businesses, investments, and properties, the Executor will be responsible to manage them successfully and ensure that they are secure. LA Probate Law can help guide the process and resolve all questions about settling the estate.
Estate Planning Ensures Faster Distribution of Assets
Many of the difficulties and taxes can be avoided in probate if there is good estate planning performed in advance. This can also help to transfer funds into the hands of the heirs faster, and it will enable a much larger portion of the estate to actually be given to the heirs, too, and not to the state in the form of taxes. Scott Schomer at LA Probate Law can help you with estate planning, and he is very experienced in it. Other situations can occur where there is not a Will. Once a death occurs, all assets are often frozen, and this can make it very difficult to get cash needed to take care of the family’s daily expenses. A court order may be necessary. The complete administering of an estate can take a couple of years. Some of the pain of the probate process, however, can be alleviated through carefully designed estate planning, which will make life simpler for all concerned.