If you have only a stand-alone will, or if you do not have either a revocable living trust or a stand-alone will, and your probate estate is worth $150,000 or more, your estate must go through probate. This is a lengthy, court-supervised process that can be complex, and involves notifying beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors; a number of court filings and hearings; settling your debts; and distributing your estate. Due to the court’s involvement, this is also a public process, with all filings available for review upon any person’s request. The executor of your estate (the “personal representative” appointed in your will), and the attorney who assists your executor through the probate process, are entitled to receive fees for their service to your estate, which are currently set forth in the California Probate Code.
The Law Office of Naomi E. Metz can help you navigate the complexities of the probate process. Please contact us to assist you.
A revocable living trust will help to keep your estate out of the court-supervised probate process, but upon your death, your successor trustee must administer your revocable living trust in accordance with the terms of the trust and with California law. The trust administration process involves a number of steps, including identifying your assets and liabilities, notifying beneficiaries and, in some cases, creditors, settling claims, funding sub-trusts, and making distributions to your beneficiaries. Although this is a private process, which is often less expensive in terms of time and money than the probate process, your successor trustee is likely to find that she or he needs, or wants, the assistance of an attorney during the trust administration.
The Law Office of Naomi E. Metz is experienced in handling the trust administration process, and will work closely with your successor trustee and other financial advisors to ensure that your trust is administered appropriately. Please contact the Law Office of Naomi E. Metz for assistance.