Oakland Probate Lawyer
Contact Our Alameda County Firm Today At (510) 444-4430!
Reasons To Choose Me
Backed By 20+ Years Of Experience
Certified Public Accountant
Easily Accessible To Clients
Excellent Client References
Dedicated To Protecting Your Rights
The probate process is highly intimidating. An experienced probate attorney
in Oakland, CA can help you navigate this process by knowing who to talk
to, what to say, and representing you in court or in family mediation.
As a California probate attorney and former CPA, I represent clients throughout
the entire process from the initial appointment to the final distribution
of the assets.
Ways I Can Help You During the Probate Process
- Dealing with disputes between family members (a common occurrence)
- Negotiating solutions that, if at all possible, help you avoid costly civil
- Resolving tax liabilities to ensure that property and other assets are
clear of tax obligations
Avoiding potential pitfalls involved in issues such as
contesting a will
Under California law, you're supposed to have an attorney representing
you during the probate process. Probate occurs at a highly stressful,
emotionally charged time when those involved are prone to making poor
decisions. Additionally, probate proceedings have a strict time limit
which, if not met, may eliminate the possibility of getting a full and
fair outcome. This makes it essential that you contact a qualified advocate
and get their advice early on.
I am an Oakland probate lawyer with over 20 years of experience helping
clients in the Alameda County area, and I can help you.
Don't Forget the Emotional Toll
It's an unfortunate fact of human nature that we make poor decisions
under stress. There are a thousand conflicting emotions in play. Having
a trusted probate lawyer involved in the process can keep the understandably
traumatic emotions at bay. You have enough to contend with while you are
grieving, let me handle all the tricky details. An attorney can act as a guide to overcome the sometimes crippling emotions
and help get the necessary legal documents in place. Later on, these documents
can prevent misunderstandings or financial confusion.
When it comes to probate issues, it's essential to understand your
options and have a trusted advocate looking out for your best interests.
Clients who are left in the dark are rarely satisfied. I pride myself
on the personal attention my clients receive and know that they will act
in their best interests when they are fully aware and fully informed.
Are All Estates Probated in California?
Estates larger than $150,000 have to go through probate in California.
One of the purposes in establishing a revocable living trust is to move
assets from the probate estate into the trust. Trust assets do not have
to be probated and thus can be distributed to heirs 100% according to
the deceased's wishes.
How Is the Executor Chosen?
In general, an executor is nominated in the will. If there is no will,
the personal representative is called the "administrator." It
is not always possible or practical for the nominated person to take on
the role and the court will decide at a hearing who should take on the
responsibilities. Closest relatives will be given priority, but anyone
can be named the administrator of the estate. When there is a complex
or a large estate,
the lawyer for the executor or administrator will handle many of the duties. This helps avoid mistakes and prevent challenges of impropriety by other
How Long Does Probate Take in California?
In the estate of California, there are four months allowed for creditors
to file claims with the court. After this, probate can take an additional
four to eight months (or more). There are many reasons for delays, including
court scheduling and how busy they are, problems that arise in any of
the executor's or administrator's duties and (occasionally) objections
raised by family members, creditors, and others.
For these reasons, the involvement of an attorney is important. Your attorney
will know how to respond to any difficulties, such as motions that have
to be filed, and how best to move the process forward expediently.
Fighting for Your Best Interests in Probate Litigation
With a large estate or one complicated by business or family issues, the
details can slow the process, cause undue anxiety and, without expert
help, lead to an unjust result.
Some of the common areas where disputes arise include:
- Allegations of a forged will
- Lack of a properly executed will
- Claims of undue influence in the execution of the will
- Acts resulting in the revocation of a will.
- Disputes as to who will serve as executor of the estate.
Because probate proceedings have a strict time limit, the possibility of
probate litigation disappears when the time expires. Even valid claims
will be set aside and cannot be pursued once the time limit is exceeded.
This means that getting advice from a qualified probate attorney for help
early is much better than waiting.
Call me today at (510) 444-4430 or write to me using our free case evaluation