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Probate and Conservatorship

Posted by attorney Terri Hilliard Olson

Probate is a court process used to oversee the transfer of the estate of someone who has died to the individual(s) who will take over legal ownership of the estate assets. Probate can be very complicated and expensive, but, with Terri Hilliard, PC, you will find it doesn't necessarily have to be that way.

The probate process can be less burdensome for a well-prepared individual. Engaging a qualified estate planning attorney with experience in probate issues, such as Terri Hilliard, PC, will enable you to take pre-emptive steps to minimize taxes and legal wrangling for your personal representative and family.

If you are not proactive and your estate goes into probate, the court will first appoint an administrator to conduct a full accounting of the estate, including asset appraisal. The court will take steps necessary to ensure all debts and taxes are paid out of the estate. Certain government agencies will need to be notified of the death, a final tax return must be filed, estate assets need to be distributed, and, then, the estate can be closed.

In California, probate can easily take six months to well over a year, depending on the amount of debt, any adult beneficiaries contesting and court availability. Make certain your estate is protected for your heirs and that the assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes, and not those of the court. Contact Terri Hilliard, PC today.

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