Whether you are preparing for the death of a loved one or getting ready to start your own estate planning, you might have heard the word “probate” mentioned a few times. Most likely, it was said with negative connotations. However, it is important for you and other Californians to realize that the probate process is a normal part of estate law, and it isn’t necessarily something to be afraid of.
In some instances, the probate process can give rise to a dispute between siblings who have never encountered any serious challenges in their relationship. Or, siblings who may have struggled with a longtime rivalry may find themselves at odds after their loved one passes away. Either way, our law office realizes that probate disputes can be particularly difficult when they involve siblings and other family members, and we believe that people in Los Angeles and across California should approach these situations with great care.
You might think that the end of one's life would also signal an end to his or her legal troubles in Los Angeles, yet that is not the case. Any outstanding financial claims against an estate must be settled from the estate's assets before any funds can be dispersed to beneficiaries. Thus, if you have been asked to serve as the personal representative for an estate, it behooves you to know how creditors' claims are to be handled, especially those where is already involved.
The probate process in Los Angeles can be emotionally taxing. Yet once it has started, the presumption is that is cannot be stopped. Why would you want to stop it anyway? That is the question that many of those that come to see us here at The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu have. We tell them to think of scenarios that would cause them to question the validity of a will. What if you believed that the decedent had been unduly influenced in creating it? What you found another will that would normally revoke the one already in probate? In these and other select cases, the law does permit you to petition that the probate process be revoked.
If you are one of the many millennials in California, you may not have yet thought about making a will, trust or other form of an estate plan. The farthest you might have gone in this direction to date may be identifying a beneficiary for your employer-sponsored 401K plan. However, it is actually wise for you to give serious thought to more than just that.
Probate is a very complex process that entails many different steps, such as determining a will’s validity and paying off outstanding debts. Even if you have a will in place at the time of your death your will may still enter into probate, especially if your family has objections. TheBalance.com explains a few of the things that can occur during a probate hearing.
It’s not uncommon for a will to be contested. After all, family members may feel as though they didn’t receive their fair share, or they might allege that the will was created under duress or via coercion. Only certain people can challenge a will in this case, such as those who can show they thy would suffer from personal ramifications if the terms of the will were carried out. TheBalance.com explains who can and cannot contest a will.
When it comes to the disposition of the property of someone who has passed away in California, the task may either fall to an executor or an administrator. According to FindLaw, the duties involved in the two roles are very similar to one other.
Before you decide to challenge a will in California, be sure that you have a very good reason to do so. According to FindLaw, the court sees the will as the voice of the decedent, and in the interest of respecting the wishes of one who is no longer able to speak for himself or herself, the court maintains strict adherence to the will, and challenging one is therefore very difficult.
If you care for an aging parent in California, you know how easy is can be for seniors to get lured into financial frauds. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent scam artists from taking advantage of your loved ones to access their funds. USA Today offers the following advice in this case, which will help you safeguard your parent’s finances.