It is not unusual for out-of-state heirs, devisees, trust beneficiaries, or even personal representatives named in a decedent’s will to find themselves with significant responsibilities or interests with respect to the administration of a California estate or trust. In this modern age, it is not unusual that family members have traveled far from their loved ones. In some instances, the distance makes it a challenge to administer the loved one’s estate. In other instances, the distance is not important and you can manage all the important details remotely. LA Probate Law has experience assisting local families as well as those from distant states. Aside from this, most documents filed with the probate court require an original signature of the Personal Representative, so faxed or emailed signatures won’t do. Thus, the closer the Personal Representative is to the attorney, the more quickly things will get gone.
Different time zones can create confusion and difficulty, we go the extra mile to ensure needed information is on hand and available. When necessary, we work with forensic accountants and CPAs to locate assets, bank accounts, and protect our clients. Our attorney can act as your representative in probate court. Your rights as an heir or your responsibilities as a personal representative need not be compromised simply because you live far away, nor will you find yourself shuttling back and forth to sign papers or appear for routine court hearings. Our use of technology means that you can stay just as fully engaged and informed about your case from anywhere in the world just as effectively as you would. We may be able to resolve your problem on favorable terms without the need for you to return to California at all. For all practical purposes, the more beneficiaries involved, and the farther away they live from the attorney handling the estate, the longer probate will take. This is simply a function of the time it takes to send documents to, and receive documents back from, multiple beneficiaries says LA Probate Law.
Causes of Delay in the Probate Process in California
Some common reasons people, who live elsewhere, hire us to do legal work are: 1) mom/dad/relative/friend died in an area you do not live and you need a probate attorney there to handle that for you and 2) your mom/dad/relative/friend lives here and you want them to hire a local attorney to handle their estate planning affairs before they die. In either case we are well suited to help you! If the estate is taxable it is most likely going to take longer to probate than a nontaxable one. This is because a taxable estate can’t be closed until a closing letter is received from the state taxing authority and/or the IRS. And these days I’ve waited anywhere from 6-8 months after filing an estate tax return with the IRS before receiving any type of response. It’s highly unlikely that two beneficiaries will agree on everything let alone 3 or 4 or more. Some beneficiaries may even hire their own attorneys to monitor the probate process, and these types of attorneys tend to nitpick at every single thing that the Personal Representative does. LA Probate Law expresses that the more the beneficiaries disagree, the longer probate will take.
Probating Multiple States
Many people own more than one home—a vacation home, a second home, or perhaps a rental property. Generally multiple properties don’t have an adverse effect on the probate process, but if a person dies with property in more than one state, and with title held in his or her sole name, then estate administration can become much more complicated than it already is. One common question of multi-state probate is if there is property owned in more than one state, which state law applies to probate of the estate? The answer is that real estate is governed by state laws, and won’t necessarily be the same as the laws governing the probate in the Primary Probate State. The probate process is almost always complicated, but with multiple properties in multiple states the complications can increase exponentially. The guidance of an experienced probate attorney will help you to streamline the process as much as possible.
Possible Complications in Probate
A will contest is a legal proceeding that’s initiated to invalidate a Last Will and Testament. Will contests are based on four arguments: (1) the Last Will was not signed with the appropriate legal formalities; (2) the Last Will was procured by fraud; (3) the Last Will was procured under duress and undue influence; and/or (4) the person making the Last Will lacked mental capacity to do so. Suffice it to say that if a will contest is involved, then the probate proceeding will remain open for a very long time. If the estate is comprised of a house and a bank account, then probate of these assets should be relatively simple explains LA Probate Law. But if the estate is comprised of a house, a bank account and an interest in the family business, then the administration of the estate can get complicated. Keeping all of these factors in mind, if everyone gets along, the assets aren’t complicated and the estate is nontaxable, then the probate process should take less than a year. But if not, then the probate process can drag on for several years.
Latest posts by Scott Schomer, Estate Planning Attorney (see all)
- What is a Pet Trust and Why Would I Need One? - March 24, 2019
- What Are the Most Important Things I Need to Know About Estate Planning? - March 23, 2019
- What is an Asset Protection Trust? - March 22, 2019