What is Probate
Providing quality legal services
in greater Los Angeles
and Orange Counties
for over 40 years

John Gottes
ATTORNEY AT LAW

Specializing in all probate matters
Wills, Trusts, Estates,
Conservatorships and Guardianships

Your Subtitle text
 
Probate
What is probate?

        P
robate is a legal proceeding to administer  the estate of someone who has died, and to see that claims, expenses and taxes are properly paid, and that the remaining estate is distributed to the decedents heirs or beneficiaries under the terms of the decedent’s Will or state law.  A probate proceeding takes place in the probate court of the county where the deceased property owner lived.
 Property not included in probate:


        Property that is not probate property includes:  property held by the decedent and another as joint tenants with right of survivorship; property held in a trust; accounts that are payable on death, or will transfer on death to a named beneficiary; and insurance or retirement benefits that are payable to a named beneficiary. Nonprobate property passes directly to a named beneficiary, survivor or successor in interest, independent of any probate proceeding.

What does probate involve?

        Probating an estate requires the appointment of a person to conduct the administration of the estate, the executor or administrator. This person is responsible for caring for all property of the decedent; receiving payments due the estate, including interest, dividends and other income;     collecting debts, claims and notes due the decedent; investigating the validity of all claims against the estate and paying all outstanding obligations including federal, state and local estate and income taxes; and finally, distributing the assets of the estate to the heirs.

        The probate proceeding is supervised by the court, and is a matter of public record. A probate requires the preparation and filing of legal documents, an inventory and appraisal of the assets of the estate, the preparation and filing of income tax returns, an accounting of funds, final transfer of all assets to the decedent’s heirs and beneficiaries.
What happens if I don't have a
Will or Living Trust?

        T
he legal term for dying without a Will is dying intestate. If you do not specify through a valid Will or Living Trust who will receive your property, state law controls and generally distributes your property to your spouse and/or your closest heirs. This may or may not be what you intended. Furthermore, if you fail to nominate a guardian for your minor children, the state could appoint someone you don't trust as a legal guardian of your minor children. Finally, by failing to appoint someone to carry out your wishes, the state can appoint anyone to be the administrator of your property, and the administrator may have to pay certain fees or post a bond at the expense of your estate, before he or she can begin to distribute your assets.

Law Offices of
John Gottes
3470 Tweedy Boulevard
South Gate, California 90280
323.564.4444

info@johngottes.com
Se habla español.
Weekend and evening appointments available.
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