The Law Offices of
Gregory T. Annigian
114 North Indian Hill Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (909) 981-
Fax: (909) 981-
When an individual passes away, their estate is often required to complete the probate process. This is a series of court-
Probate involves a process that is potentially complex and often troublesome. It happens after a person passes away and is the process for settling their estate. Probate administration involves the disbursement of the deceased person’s assets. Complex court-
The court will appoint an individual to act as a personal representative on behalf of the deceased person, who is also called the decedent. If there was a will, the appointed individual is the executor of the estate. If no will was filed, the appointed individual is the estate administrator and a different process is initiated. The personal representative must follow the decedent’s directives regarding the distribution of the estate’s assets. Before this happens, there are prescribed actions that must be completed. If, at any point, the executor does not perform their duties as expected, they may be personally liable for damages. It does not matter whether the executor’s missteps were accidental or intentional. If misconduct is found, the executor may face severe consequences and be held financially liable.
A probate administration attorney can help reduce the many potential points of confusion and doubt that often plague these legal processes. An experienced lawyer can assist executors who must complete court filings, settle the deceased person’s debt, properly appraise assets and release the inheritance following prescribed directives. In addition, because the executor’s role is open to potential pitfalls, a probate administration attorney can help reduce the executor's risk of personal liability.
There are several steps that must be completed to close the estate of a deceased person in California. First, the petition needs to be filed. This will initiate the start of the probate process in the California Superior Court. A hearing will be set and notices must be mailed to all involved parties, including beneficiaries and creditors. The will must be proven to be valid at the time of the decedent’s passing. Assets, including real property, stocks, mutual funds, bank accounts, and vehicles must be collected and inventoried. If the decedent had established an estate plan, it is possible that some assets would not be included in probate of the estate. Creditors must be paid and all debts settled before disbursements from the estate can be made. This includes payment of estate taxes. A full accounting must also be completed before the estate can be closed. The probate accounting is a record of all actions performed by the executor and their legal advisors. After all of these items are completed, the executor is free to disperse any remaining assets to the decedent’s heirs.
At The Law Offices of Gregory T. Annigian, we understand that every situation is unique. We have decades of experience offering trusted legal guidance in probate and probate administration matters. In addition, our law firm handles a wide range of issues related to estate planning, trust administration, wills, trusts, probate litigation, and elder law cases. Call (909) 981-