Carlsbad Probate Litigation Lawyers
Helping You With Probate and Estate Administration
At The Loftin Firm LLP, we help clients who lost a loved one and are facing the daunting task of administering the estate. In this trying time, we represent beneficiaries, executors of the estate, rightful heirs and other family members who may have a claim to assets left behind by the decedent. We help our clients fulfill their legal obligations, such as paying off creditors and filing required notices, and strive to ensure the estate is administered according to the decedent's wishes.
Going through probate is not something you should do on your own. Call our Carlsbad probate litigation lawyers at 866.933.2340. You can also send us an e-mail.
The Probate Process Generally
The probate process is a detailed set of procedures that is best understood by having a face-to-face consultation with a probate and estate planning attorney. However, the basic process is as follows:
- When a loved one passes away, a personal representative (executor) is appointed to oversee the administration of the estate.
- The executor is responsible for posting a notice for creditors so they can make claims to part of the estate for repayment of debts.
- Once creditors make their claims, the executor pays them out of the estate.
- A probate judge oversees the distribution of assets according to what is stated in the will.
Helping You With Probate and Estate Administration
The Loftin Firm LLP attorneys represent clients petitioning for probate, probate litigation, and advise trustees and beneficiaries of instruments that pass title outside of probate. Our probate attorney services are enhanced by a full team who can respond in specific, related areas, including, contracts, tax issues, other estate planning issues, and litigation.
Administering an Estate
Whenever dealing with a probate or probate litigation with reference to an estate, it is important to remember several general principles for California:
- Collect all estate planning documents (trust, will, codicil, insurance policy documents, account statements for “payable on death” or “co- titled” accounts, joint-tenancy deeds, retirement account statements, etc.).
- Generally, the will needs to be lodged with the local Superior Court’s probate division, within thirty days of passing. Also, most folks bring a copy of the will to receive a “filed” stamp from the court.
- Ensure all the necessary tax returns have been filed, by contacting a Certified Public Accountant. If a tax return is filed late, penalties will continue to accrue until it is
- Notice of passing must be provided to the California Franchise Tax Board, Medi-Cal (if benefits were received), and potentially any other state creditor. In probate cases, notices to known or ascertainable creditors are required as part of the proceedings. Notices in trust cases are more flexible, and the form will depend on the circumstances.
- Review any trust to ensure that all real property assets are titled in the name of the trust. If not, a simple petition or probate may be necessary to sell or transfer the property. The County Recorder will have the most recent recorded deed, if there is no copy in the file. The Assessor’s tax information is not reliable in this regard.
- For smaller estates, an abbreviated “Affidavit” procedure may be available through a special California Probate Code provision. Consult an attorney to see if you are eligible for this.
Intestate Succession: What Happens If Your Loved One Died Without a Will.
What happens if a person dies without having executed a will, trust or other related estate planning documents? This is called “intestacy,” and generally it means California law will determine the estate distribution rather than using a person’s wishes. In this case, either an heir will need to open probate, or that heir may be eligible for the “affidavit procedure” for small estates. The Loftin Firm LLP will serve as your strong advocate through these procedures.
Whether your loved one left behind a will or a trust, proper probate litigation is critical to avoid legal issues. This is especially important for executors and trustees who are responsible for the distribution of assets. At The Loftin Firm LLP, we assist in making sure you know and fulfill your legal responsibilities.
If a dispute does arise, we can help protect your interests. We handle probate disputes involving:
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Creditor disputes
- Undue influence
- Will and trust contests
- Inheritance disputes
Free Consultation for Probate Matters
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with an experienced San Diego County estate administration lawyer regarding probate administration, please contact us. At The Loftin Firm LLP, we offer creative fee structures to fit the needs of our clients. If you need to file probate, we offer a free initial consultation— attorneys fees for probate in California are set by statute, and generally only payable when a judge approves them. Give a Loftin Firm attorney a call!
This information is not intended to substitute for professional legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should accept legal advice only from a licensed legal professional with whom you have an attorney-client relationship.