Losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional time, and dealing with the legal process of settling their estate can be overwhelming. In California, probate is the legal process by which a deceased person’s assets are distributed to their heirs or beneficiaries. However, not all probate processes are created equal. Depending on the value and complexity of the estate, there are three types of probate available in California: formal probate, summary probate, and small estate probate. Each has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages.
In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to understanding the different types of California probate and help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
Formal probate is the most common type of probate in California and is used when the estate is valued at more than $184,500 which is usually due to real property. This type of probate involves a process that begins with the filing of a petition for probate in the county where the decedent lived at the time of their death, here it is Fresno County Superior Court, your filing fees will be $435.00, but we will attempt a fee waiver on your behalf. The process may or may not be court-supervised, you may be required to buy a bond, or you may be granted full independent authority. It all depends on the circumstances of your specific case.
Once the petition is filed, the court appoints an executor, administrator or personal representative who will be responsible for managing the estate during the probate process. This person will also be responsible for notifying beneficiaries and creditors of the decedent’s death and for handling any legal disputes that may arise. This is accomplished through publication in a local newspaper, here it is the Fresno Business Journal, and the cost to them will be $610.00.
You must also pay a Probate Referee to assess the value of the estate. The cost for the probate referee is 1% of the value of the estate.
Formal probate can be a time-consuming, expensive and confusing process, as it involves numerous court filings, legal fees, and potential disputes that may need to be resolved through court hearings.
Summary probate is a simplified probate process that can be used when the estate is valued at less than $184,500. This type of probate is generally quicker and less expensive than formal probate and does not require court supervision.
To initiate summary probate, the executor or personal representative files a petition for summary probate in the county where the decedent lived. The petition must include a list of the decedent’s assets and debts, as well as a proposed distribution plan for the estate’s assets.
You must also hire a Probate Referee to value the state, his fee will be the same as in formal probate. One thing that makes this process unique is that all heirs must sign the petition.
If the court approves the petition, the executor or personal representative can distribute the estate’s assets according to the proposed plan without further court supervision. This process typically takes several months to complete.
Small Estate Probate
Small estate probate is a simplified probate process that can be used when the estate is valued at less than $50,000. This process is the quickest and simplest of the three types of probate in California and does not require court supervision.
To initiate small estate probate, the executor or personal representative must file a petition with the court requesting permission to distribute the estate’s assets. The petition must include a list of the decedent’s assets and debts, as well as a proposed distribution plan.
If the court approves the petition, the executor or personal representative can distribute the estate’s assets according to the proposed plan without further court supervision. This process typically takes only a few weeks to complete.
In summary, each type of California probate has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the appropriate type of probate will depend on the size and complexity of the estate, as well as the specific needs and circumstances of the decedent’s beneficiaries.
We can provide you with the necessary information so that you may make the best-informed decision about which probate is right for you. Once you have made your decision you may come in on your scheduled appointment time and day, your next appointment will be to sign the paperwork in person or through e-signature. We handle everything from beginning to end, including court running, e-filing service, arrangements for third-party services, and supervision of home sales.
Your Local Legal Document Assistant (LDA) In Fresno, CA
Estate planning is a comprehensive process that involves preparing for the management of a person’s assets in the event of incapacitation or death. A well-prepared estate plan can help avoid the probate process, which can be beneficial if you don’t want the government to decide what happens to your assets. At Attorney Alternative, our experienced LDA has a thorough understanding of the laws and court rules related to probate and estate planning. Our goal is to make the estate planning process as smooth as possible for you by providing all necessary legal document types. We recognize that the comprehensive estate plan process can be an emotionally challenging process, and even though we cannot provide legal advice to clients, we offer our support and assistance to help you navigate it successfully. Contact us either by call or through our contact form on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.
Information provided through this site has been taken from self-help informational publications provided by the Court, or other legal sources believed to be reliable. This information is general, published, factual information and should not be cited on or relied on as legal authority, nor should it be considered legal advice. It is always recommended that you seek legal advice from an attorney before filing any legal proceedings. Many attorneys offer free consultations. I am not an attorney, I can only provide self-help services at your specific direction.
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