Probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under a will. The probate court determines the legal validity of a testator’s will and grants its approval by granting probate to the executor. The probated will becomes a legal document that may be enforced by the executor in the courts if necessary.
A probate also officially appoints the executor (or personal representative), generally named in the will, as having legal power to dispose of the testator’s assets in the manner specified in the testator’s will. A will may be contested during the probate process in probate court. Partnering with an experienced Los Angeles County probate attorney, like Susan B. Geffen, will benefit you in many ways.
Probate Court Lawyer
As an experienced probate lawyer, Susan can work with you to create a solid estate plan to prepare for the inevitable event of your death. But beyond that valuable service, a probate attorney like Susan can handle matters for your family after you have died. Depending on the circumstances of your estate at the time of your death, there can be different needs that require an experienced and compassionate legal professional.
- What Happens When There is a Legal Will?
- If you have worked with Susan or another estate planning attorney to create and record a will, you will first need a probate attorney to open a probate case with the court. The probate attorney can then help your family and/or designated executor through each step of the probate process. This can include advice on handling your affairs in the proper order to prevent problems, as well as drafting and filing documents, communicating with court officials, other family members, beneficiaries, debtors or creditors.
- An experienced probate attorney, like Susan Geffen, can make this process much smoother for families by handling the many details and all official communications. Plus, if the designated executor has no experience in these matters, they will need a seasoned attorney to guide them through the process. Losing a loved one is difficult enough without compounding your pain with numerous legal steps and processes. You will be grateful for how Susan can handle these details while you begin the recovery process.
- What Happens When There Isn’t a Will?
- If you die intestate, or without a will, the process is much more complicated and stressful. In this case, the probate court will designate a representative to handle your probate matters according to the laws of California. Unfortunately, since your wishes were not recorded, they cannot be known. This means that your assets and other matters are handled by strangers that do not know you or your family.
- This is when a probate attorney, like Susan, can be a special asset. She can become your family’s legal representative who works with the estate administrator to handle your affairs. There will be many legal considerations, and likely some disagreements. Susan Geffen has over 30 years of probate law experience, working with families to get a loved one’s assets from the probate process.
Avoid Probate Problems in Los Angeles and Redondo Beach
Some of the most troublesome problems that arise during probate stems from a will that was never updated. Over time, life circumstances often change, necessitating a change to your will. Common changes can include:
- Divorce and/or remarriage
- Death of a spouse
- Birth or death of children
- Gaining or losing assets
- Accumulation of debts
Any changes in your life circumstances should be reflected in your will. This will prevent problems and disputes when your will is probated. Susan recommends that everyone review their will at least once a year, and more often as circumstances change. Contact her today to create or review a will in Los Angeles or Redondo Beach, California.
Susan B. Geffen has helped hundreds of families with their estate planning. Is a Living Trust just for the wealthy? No. If you own a home, have children, wish to leave your assets to whomever you choose, then you should consider having a living trust prepared for you.Learn More
Susan B. Geffen can help you with your probate matter, and provide you with the expert guidance throughout the process.Learn More
Many of Susan’s clients ask her about Conservatorships. It is a serious process and it takes a very knowledgeable and experience attorney to evaluate whether or not a conservatorship is realistic and/or necessary.Learn More
Disputes often arise after an individual dies and their estate is being administered by the named trustee. This is especially so when when there are substantial amounts of money involved or when family conflict is present.Learn More
Call Susan today (310) 406-0608 or send her a message by filling out the form below.
Probate- I called Susan B Geffin's office and was able to get an appointment right away. I can't begin to tell you of the great legal advice and take charge help I received in a fast timely matter. I was mourning my dear friend and Susan caring approach to let her handle it made such a difference. She was in my corner at all times and kept me well informed. She was AWESOME in getting my situation resolved. I highly recommend her. Thank you Susan from the bottom of my heart.