Coping with the passing of a family member is difficult enough without having to sort through the intricacies of probate court. Whether the person died without a will (called intestacy) or with a will, the probate court will take the assets of the deceased, used them to pay the bills, and distribute the estate to the persons named under the will, or among living heirs if the person died intestate. Probate is usually challenging, takes a long time, and can subject the estate to significant expenses. Robert Firth is a Cathedral City probate attorney who represents individuals and families in probate court and can help get a family member named as the “Administrator” of the estate to ensure that the decedent’s bills are paid and the assets are distributed equitably.

Administering a Decedent’s Estate when There’s No Will or Trust

A person who dies without a will or trust in place is called “intestate”, meaning we will create one for the deceased according to the rules of intestate succession set forth in the California Probate Code. The Probate Court will appoint an administrator to deal with the deceased person’s affairs, pay the bills, contact the heirs at law and distribute any remaining assets. Attorney Firth can help in the appointment of an administrator for the estate, ensuring that your loved one’s estate is handled competently and efficiently

Repairing a Botched Will or Trust

Often we get clients who have either paid an automated online service to create an estate plan through a series of questions or hired an inexperienced lawyer or paralegal to create a will or living trust. These circumstances tend to lead to a sub-par document which can often be open to interpretation by family members, lawyers, or a probate judge. As an experienced Wills & Living Trust lawyer, Rob Firth is able to ensure you take the appropriate steps when administering a trust or will, helping you avoid accusations of mismanagement, avoiding expensive litigation, and addressing any problems a faulty legal document may have caused.

How Are Probate Legal Fees Paid?

Many probate cases can be handled with no out-of-pocket fees to the administrator. Legal fees generated by a probate case are paid at the end of a case out of the probate estate based on an approved California fee schedule:

• 4% of the first 100,000 of the gross value of the probate estate• 3% of the next $100,000• 2% of the next $800,000• 1% of the next $9 million• ½% of the next 15 million• “a reasonable amount” of anything over $25 million

If you feel overwhelmed and need help, contact me today. This is the first step in the right direction to the right plan, right solution, and right execution of your wishes. I look forward to speaking with you personally.