What is probate court?
A Will is a written statement of who should receive your property. “Probate” means to “Prove” that someone’s Will is real and correct. To learn more about a Will and what an Executor does, check out our What is a Will? video HERE. When someone dies, Probate court is where the government (the probate judge) makes sure that your Will is real, your bills and loans are paid off and then the rest of your property goes to the people or charities named in your Will, or if there is no Will, then by inheritance. Probate is a court case and the person named in the Will to carry out your wishes is responsible to the Probate judge and to the people inheriting to do their job correctly (called the “Executor”).
If you are an Executor of a Will, and you are not an expert at Probate, you have a huge responsibility to carry out your loved one’s wishes, pay off their debts, sell their property and then distribute the remaining property to the people inheriting from the Will. If you are not experienced at these things, you need an expert to help represent you and to protect you from personal liability if you make mistakes.
I’m an executor – do I need a lawyer and probate?
When is probate required?
Do you think that having a Will means you don’t go to probate court? Not true. Whether you have a Will or not, if you have enough property, (as of 2023 with a total value of $184,500 or more) then the government (the Probate judge) will be involved unless you have a Trust. To learn more about a Trust and how it keeps you out of Probate court, check out our What is a Trust? video HERE.
HIRE AN EXPERT PROBATE LAWYER
Lawyers that are estate experts do a lot of Probate and Lawvex attorneys have done hundreds of Probate cases. As of 2023, we have more than 100 Probates open representing Executors all over California.
Educate you about your rights and duties in Probate;
Protect you from personal liability;
Protect your family from arguments; and
Get your inheritance to you as fast as possible.
Also, everyone at Lawvex knows that this can be a difficult and emotional time for families and individuals. Our attorneys and paralegals are present throughout the process to answer questions, give guidance, and provide peace of mind to our clients.
HOW MUCH DOES PROBATE COST
Because Probate fees are a flat amount and set by law in California, you are only hurting yourself if you use a beginner or an attorney that doesn’t specialize in Probate. In California, Probate Lawyer fees are based on a percentage of the fair market value of the Estate property
4% of the first $100,000; plus
3% of the next $100,000; plus
2% of the next $800,000; plus
1% of the next $9,000,000.
Don’t worry – you do not have to pay our fees until the end. We are paid out of the Estate property at the end of the Probate when the Probate judge approves.
We do ask our Executor clients to provide a deposit with us (called a “retainer”) to cover the expenses (court filing fees, publishing notice in the newspaper, appraisal fees, etc.) but you will be reimbursed for those from the Estate property. But we can only use your deposit for court approved expenses and we have to report all of them to the Probate judge at the end of the Probate case.
Request a free Client Coordinator call to hire Lawvex attorneys as your personal representative for Probate cases today! We can represent you in any California County to settle an estate property quickly.