Enduring the death of a loved one is one of the most difficult things that a person can go through. Unfortunately, the law does not necessarily give families proper time to grieve their loved ones before they must begin the end-of-life legal process. Many grieving individuals must attend probate court soon after their loved one passes away.
There is a wide range of issues that can arise during the probate process. Even if your loved one created a detailed estate plan, conflicts may arise in the courtroom and require your input. It can also be difficult to make educated decisions about the situation when you are in a state of grief and are not familiar with probate law.
Hiring a probate attorney to protect your interests and ensure your wishes are carried out can be very beneficial. Hillary Goebel at Goebel Estate Planning offers comprehensive probate legal services to families in Temecula and the surrounding areas.
Hillary Goebel has a significant amount of training and experience in probate law. She knows how the process can affect families, which is why she works diligently to protect her clients throughout their time in probate court. Out of respect for their delicate situations, Hillary approaches every client with sensitivity and support. You can trust her to advocate for your needs during this difficult time.
When you work with Goebel Estate Planning, you will receive comprehensive estate planning services as well as probate representation, which gives you an advantage in court. Hillary also creates estate plans, which means she knows how to interpret them, argue for their validity or invalidity, and make informed decisions on behalf of her clients.
Probate court is the legal process by which the state settles a deceased person’s estate, including any final taxes, personal loans, and other debts. The cost of these debts is subtracted from the estate, coupled with probate fees, which significantly alters the amount that beneficiaries receive.
During this process, the court also assesses the deceased’s will to determine whether it is valid. If it is determined to be valid, the court will release the estate to the executor that was named in the document so that they may distribute assets to the beneficiaries. If no executor is named, or if the executor named is not able to perform their duty, the court will assign one. Usually, the court assigns the next of kin as a will’s executor if none is named.
If there is no will, or the will is invalid, the court will appoint a personal representative. The personal representative must choose to go through the probate process. When there are no individuals to serve in this role, the individual’s assets will escheat to the state, meaning the state inherits them.
As you go through the probate process, there will be other legal professionals involved. For example, if your loved one used an estate planning attorney, that attorney may make an appointment to read the will.
However, any legal professional associated with your loved one’s estate is not able to offer legal counsel. If you have a question or concern about something in probate court, they are ethically and legally obligated to remain loyal to their client, even if the client is deceased. You’ll need to hire an attorney of your own if you want someone to answer your questions and ensure all your needs are met.
Hiring an attorney means that you have someone who can help you make decisions, raise appropriate questions, and navigate the probate process. This is a significant help to many people, especially those who are enduring the grieving process. If you have a complaint or contest, your probate attorney can help you file it properly and within the necessary timeframe.
Probate court is complicated, and it is extremely valuable to have an advocate on your side.
Though most do, not all estates move through probate court. It is unlikely that you will have to navigate probate court if your loved one created a trust for their assets. However, it is still helpful to have an advocate. Trustees are in a powerful position, and they can make mistakes or commit offenses against the trust. If you are a beneficiary, the only way to contest a trustee’s decision is with the help of an experienced probate and trust attorney. Hillary Goebel is here to help.
The law outlines a fee structure for probate lawyers based on the gross value of an estate. The attorney shall take 4% of the first $100,000, 3% of the following $100,000, 2% of the next $800,000, 1% of the following $9,000,000, and 0.5% on the final $15,000,000. If an estate is above $25,000,000, the court will assign a percentage that they believe to be reasonable, given the circumstances.
For all amounts above $25,000,000, the court will determine a reasonable fee for the probate attorney.
The cost to file a petition or action in probate court depends on the type of action that you are trying to take. The costs range from $60 to $435 depending on the issue’s complexity and the amount of time it requires.
When you work with an attorney, it is easy to determine how and where to file in probate court. If you need to take action in any way, your attorney can help you for the duration of the process.
If you are in the Temecula area and are facing probate court, do not wait to find legal representation. Hillary Goebel has a thorough understanding of the probate system in California and takes great care to support her clients during this time. Regardless of the size of the estate or the severity of the issue, Hillary is confident that she can serve your family.
To schedule a consultation, please contact Hillary Goebel today.