The Probate Court oversees the probate process. In Sacramento County, the Probate Court is located on Power Inn Road. The probate court in Sacramento County and other counties divides the property of someone who is deceased. They oversee the distribution of assets and the payments of liabilities, which includes payment of debts and distribution of property to the beneficiaries. This process can be time consuming and stressful. Probate is not a fast process.
In some circumstances, probate can be avoided. Some of those circumstances may be as follows:
A surviving spouse-
If there is a surviving spouse and the entire estate consists of community property, however it is still best to speak with an attorney to
Transfer Property into a living trust.
This is a highly recommended route, as it will save loved ones a lot of time and money. Probate is very expensive and time consuming. A fully funded revocable trust allows you to name your beneficiaries and trustees ahead of time.
If your loved one has died and you are not sure if you need to go through the probate process, contact an estate planning attorney that is familiar with probate law. It is a common belief that if someone dies with a will they will not need to go through probate. However, even with a will they will still go through the probate process. If they died with a will at the time of death, they are said to have died testate. If they died without a will, it is said that they have died intestate. A fully funded trust needs to accompany the will.
If there was a will, the court will have to make sure that it is valid. If the will is deemed valid, the property is then distributed according to what is stated in the will. A person named an executor, usually named in a will, manages the distribution of assets. If they are not able to or do not want to manage the distribution of the estate, a court will appoint an administrator. The person who has the will needs to file the will with the probate court within 30 days of the decedent’s death.
If there was not a will at the time of death, the property is distributed among the decedent’s heirs, as determined by California law. In California, the property first goes to the spouse and/or children, if there are any. If the person does not have a spouse or children, it goes to the person’s nearest relatives.
Probate cases tend to move slowly. There are many detailed steps, such as:
- identify all property
- pay all creditors
- pay all taxes
- correctly transfer title to property
If you would like to know how to avoid putting your loved ones through the probate process, contact our office and set up a free estate planning consultation. We can discuss what strategies will work best to keep your assets in your family and ways to keep the court out of your estate. The Swenson Law Firm is conveniently located in Orangevale, CA. Our phone number is 916-333-0833.