If a loved one has recently passed, with or without a will you may need to administer their estate assets through a court process called "Probate". There are many factors involved in determining if your loved one's estate must go through the probate process or if you will be able to avoid it. Pretlove Law is experienced in helping families navigate through this difficult time and can help you avoid the probate process, if possible, or guide you through it if it cannot be avoided. Below you will find resources to address a few of the frequently asked questions regarding Probate and it's process.
What is the Probate process?
The probate process is a court supervised process to administer the estate of a person that has passed away. If the deceased person had a valid will, the court will approve the person appointed in the will to administer the estate. If there is no will a person will need to be nominated as the executor of the estate and approved by the court. Once this step is complete the appointed executor may begin gathering estate assets and information in order move the probate forward. The process is document intensive and there are multiple steps that the court must oversee. Eventually the court will approve a final distribution, this may take anywhere from 6 months if the court calendar is slow (which is unlikely) to a year or even longer if the probate is being contested.
How much does Probate cost?
The cost of the Probate procedure is set by California State Law (Cal. Prob Code 10810) as a statutory fee. This fee is calculated by a percentage formula which depends upon the size of the estate. The formula for the statutory fees is as follows:
4% of the first $100,000 of the gross value of the probate estate
3% of the next $100,000
2% of the next $800,000
1% of the next $9 million
.5% of the next $15 million
A reasonable amount (determined by the court) for any amounts higher than $25 million