Probate And Trust Administration
How an estate is administered after someone’s death depends on several factors. Did the deceased leave behind an estate plan? If so, did they include a trust? How extensive and complex are the deceased’s assets and debts?
Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica LLP represents executors, heirs and beneficiaries in probate and trust administration. Whatever your role in the probate process is, we will give you advice. Our attorneys will work closely with you throughout the process to help deliver results that are right for you.
Probate is a court-supervised process that transfers legal title to someone’s assets after that person dies. Many steps and technical rules are involved in probating an estate, and sometimes multiple court appearances are required. Attorney fees and other probate fees are set by statute.
In cases where the decedent had a trust, the assets held in that trust do not have to pass through probate. If the decedent owned property in another state than where they lived, an ancillary probate may be necessary. This is often necessary for estates with extensive real estate holdings. Our firm is skilled in assisting executors to handle estates with interstate and even international assets.
Sometimes a spousal petition or a small estate set aside will avoid a full lengthy probate.
The probate process involves transferring property and assets, paying the debts of the estate and notifying beneficiaries. Probate court is also the forum through which will contests, trust contests, or fiduciary challenges regarding a trust or estate are settled. Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica LLP represents executors of estates in the probate process, as well as clients involved in probate and trust litigation.
The administration of a trust operates outside of probate court, which can speed up the process of settling the deceased’s estate. Depending on the terms of the trust, the trustee may distribute the assets to the beneficiaries immediately, or continue to administer them in the beneficiaries’ best interests, possibly with regular disbursements to the beneficiaries.
Our firm handles probate proceedings and trust contests anywhere in California. Are you a beneficiary of a trust or an estate? You may have questions or require assistance in determining your rights as a beneficiary of a trust or will, or as a legal heir to an estate. Getting proper legal advice at the onset can often expedite the process, as well as mitigate issues and offer necessary support.