When a resident of San Diego, California, dies, his or her properties are usually included in his or her probate estate. In the ordinary course of the legal system, this estate will be administered through the court system. This is to ensure that taxes are paid, and the claims of creditors are satisfied. The remaining properties or assets will then be distributed to the compulsory or the voluntary heirs of the decedent.
Clients will usually ask how long will the probate proceedings last in San Diego, California? And the answer is always the same. It depends on the factors and circumstances surrounding the estate.
What does the Probate Process Involve?
The probate estate includes all properties in the decedent’s name alone, with no contract that provides the transmission of the property to a beneficiary. Therefore, the probate estate does not include the insurance proceeds, the trust property, and the property that the decedent jointly owns with someone else.
Personal representatives are called the executors and the administrators. They are those appointed by the court to manage the estate and carry out with strict compliance the probate court orders. Their fundamental duties are those that include collecting the estate property and assets. They also provide the court with an initial inventory of the estate. Those assets are used to pay the creditors, and the expenses used thereof. The property that is left is distributed then to the beneficiaries.
How long does a Probate Process Usually take?
The probate process usually takes anywhere between six months to two years to complete. However, the length of the process always depends on the size of the estate and whether any unique assets require special attention. You also have to consider the issues, and maybe some fortuitous events, that may arise that can prolong the process.
When there is a Will, the process is more straightforward because the executor and heirs are already identified in the Will. This is called the testate succession. However, there is no Will(intestate succession) in situations where the process is relatively more tedious.
Is Probate Real Estate Agent Necessary?
Well, yes. A probate real estate agent is necessary when you want to sell the real estate. They know the process, documentation, and deadlines that the courts impose. It is vital to hire a probate real estate agent to ensure that your real estate is sold correctly and without any problems.
What must happen before the Estate is closed?
Before the estate can be closed, a notice will be sent to the beneficiaries. This notice is called the notice of final accounting. They will also be sent to other interested parties. This allows them to object, if there are objections, at a sufficient time. The last step is for the executor to present a final accounting to the court, including the detailed list of probate assets, expenses, and property distribution to beneficiaries.
When an estate is small, the administrator may need only to present one accounting to the court. The final value on accounting must show a zero balance. Once the court approves of this and parties raise no objections, the estate is closed, and the executor is discharged.
Is Probate Always Required with Every Estate?
It is not difficult to avoid probate. There are some options available for you to ensure that your estate is passed onto your heirs. Some of these methods that are allowed by law are revocable living trusts and joint ownership of property and gifts. However, it is best to discuss your options with probate experts regarding this.