The word “Probate” can conjure up images of lengthy court battles and mountains of paperwork. But for Californians navigating the legalities after a loved one’s passing, probate is often an essential step. Here at Goodman Estate Law, we understand that the probate process can be overwhelming. This guide will introduce you to the basics of California probate and how Goodman Estate Law can help you navigate it with confidence.

What is Probate?

Probate is a court-supervised legal process that ensures the orderly distribution of a deceased person’s assets (known as an “estate”) according to their wishes (expressed in a will) or according to state law (if there’s no will). During probate, the court will:

Validate the will (if there is one)
Appoint a personal representative (executor or administrator) to manage the estate
Identify and value the estate’s assets
Pay off any debts and taxes
Distribute remaining assets to beneficiaries

Basic Steps in California Probate:

Filing the Petition:  The first step involves filing a petition with the probate court in the appropriate county. This petition typically includes details about the deceased, the existence of a will, and the request to appoint a personal representative.
Appointing a Personal Representative:  The court will appoint a personal representative,  usually the executor named in the will,  to handle the estate’s affairs. If there is no will, the court will appoint an administrator.
Inventorying and Appraising Assets:  The personal representative must identify and value all the estate’s assets, such as property, investments, and bank accounts.
Paying Debts and Taxes:  The estate’s debts and taxes must be paid before assets can be distributed to beneficiaries.
Distributing Assets:  Once all debts and taxes are settled, the remaining assets are distributed to beneficiaries as dictated by the will or state law.

Goodman Estate Law: Your Trusted Guide Through Probate

Probate can be a complex process, but you don’t have to go through it alone. At Goodman Estate Law, we have extensive experience guiding executors and administrators through each stage of California probate. We can help you with:

Understanding the probate process and its impact on the estate
Completing necessary court filings and paperwork
Managing debts and tax liabilities
Ensuring proper distribution of assets to beneficiaries

We understand the emotional toll that comes with losing a loved one.  We are dedicated to making the probate process as smooth and efficient as possible, allowing you to focus on healing and honoring your loved one’s wishes.

Contact Goodman Estate Law Today

Don’t let the complexities of probate hinder your ability to fulfill your role as executor. Contact Goodman Estate Law today for a free consultation. We’ll answer your questions, address your concerns, and guide you through each step of the probate process with confidence.

Choose Goodman Estate Law For

Our Services

Estate Planning
Trust Administration
Probate & Estate Administration can be time consuming, and mistakes can be very costly.

Goodman Estate Law will ensure that your interests are protected. We offer:

Probate Petitions
Spousal Petitions
Small Estate Affidavits
Affidavits re Real Property of Small Value