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Probate in California: What You Need to Know

The loss of a loved one is never easy, and navigating the probate process can add an extra layer of stress to an already difficult time. However, understanding the probate process and knowing when it is required can help families in Santa Barbara County prepare for what lies ahead. In this article, we will provide an overview of the probate process in California, including when a court probate is necessary and when it is not, and explain how the experienced attorneys at Thyne Taylor Fox Howard, LLP can assist families with probate and estate matters when a loved one passes away.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate and distributing their assets to their beneficiaries. This process involves verifying the validity of the deceased person’s will, paying debts and taxes, and transferring the remaining assets to the designated beneficiaries. If a person dies without a will, their assets will be distributed according to California’s laws of intestacy.

When is a Court Probate Required?

In California, a court probate is required when the deceased person’s assets total more than $166,250 and their estate does not include assets that can pass outside of probate, such as a trust or a payable-on-death account. Additionally, a court probate is necessary if there is a dispute over the distribution of the deceased person’s assets or if there is a challenge to the validity of the will.

When is a Court Probate Not Required?

In some cases, a court probate may not be required. For example, if the deceased person’s assets total less than $166,250 and their estate only includes assets that can pass outside of probate, no probate is necessary. Additionally, a court probate is not required if the deceased person’s assets are transferred to a surviving spouse or registered domestic partner without the need for a will or a court order.

How Thyne Taylor Fox Howard, LLP Can Help

The probate process can be complex and time-consuming, but the experienced attorneys at Thyne Taylor Fox Howard, LLP can help families in Santa Barbara County navigate the process and ensure that their loved one’s estate is handled efficiently and effectively. Our attorneys have extensive experience in probate and estate law and can help families understand their rights and responsibilities, assist with the preparation of necessary documents, and represent them in court, if necessary.

In conclusion, the loss of a loved one is never easy, but understanding the probate process and knowing when a court probate is required can help families prepare for what lies ahead. If you are facing a probate or estate matter in Santa Barbara County, the attorneys at Thyne Taylor Fox Howard, LLP are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can assist you with your probate and estate needs.

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