California Wills, Trusts, Probate & Litigation Attorneys
Bradley R. Kirk & Associates, Inc. | A Professional Law Corporation
Office Address: 2600 Michelson Drive Seventeenth Floor Irvine, California 92612

Orange County Probate Attorney

Probate Administration Lawyer in Orange County

Probate AdministrationIf a loved one passes away, and probate is necessary, the Court will need to appoint someone to manage the estate. That person is called an “Executor” if there is a Will or an “Administrator if there is no Will. A generic term for an Executor and an Administrator is “Personal Representative”.

1. Probate

Probate is a Court procedure where a deceased person’s assets are administered to ensure that all creditors are paid, all rights of the beneficiaries and heirs are protected, and the estate assets are properly and fairly distributed. Probate takes anywhere between nine months and two years, and can be very complicated. Probate is also very expensive. California’s Probate Code sets attorneys fees at an average of two percent of the Gross Value of the Estate plus $3,000.00. An executor would receive an equivalent fee. Accordingly, an estate which owns a $500,000.00 home and $50,000.00 in stock can cost up to $29,000.00 in fees and costs.

With proper estate planning, probate can be avoided. However, if a person dies without this type of planning, probate will be necessary.

2. Executors/Administrators

If the deceased person had a Will and a person is named in the Will as the Executor, that person has priority to be appointed by the Court as the Executor. If there is no Will, then any interested family member or person can petition the Court to be the administrator of the Estate. Executors and Administrators are generically referred to as “Personal Representatives.” We represent Personal Representatives on a regular basis and ensure that they comply with all required laws and legal procedures. We are well-versed in all of the Probate Court processes, and our goal is to ensure that our clients move the estate swiftly and efficiently through probate.

Being a Personal Representative is a big responsibility. California’s probate code contains pages and pages of complex legal rules and procedures that a Personal Representative must follow in the course of probate.  If a Personal Representative violates any of these rules, they can be held personally liable for losses to the estate. For these reasons, it is imperative that such a person is represented by competent legal counsel who has extensive experience in dealing with these matters.

Also, there are certain deadlines that an Executor must meet in filing papers with the Court. It is imperative that any person so named in a Will contacts an attorney as soon as possible after the death of the decedent in order to avoid legal liability. In extreme cases, that person can be held financially liable for failing to abide by their legal duties.

For the past ten years, we have represented Executors and Administrators in the California Courts.  We are very familiar with all of the legal rules and procedures governing these actions, and we assist our clients to ensure that that they carry out all of their obligations under the law and are duly protected.

Contact an Orange County Probate Lawyer at Bradley R. Kirk & Associates.

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Office Address: 2600 Michelson Drive Seventeenth Floor Irvine, California 92612 Phone: (949) 252-0333