Experienced Probate Attorneys
When it comes to probate, it’s important to have an attorney who is well-versed inside the courtroom, who has experience with judges, and knows how to represent your interests. It’s hard enough when a loved one passes away, but to cope with such a tragedy and also deal with the nightmare of probate – without the right legal counsel – can be daunting.
Probate Insight and Guidance
When someone dies without a trust, their assets must go through a court process known as probate. Unfortunately, probate is a time-consuming process that can last for years. It is also very expensive and can put loved ones at a huge financial loss.
Every situation involving probate is singular and unique. Whether or not there is a will, whether the will is up to date, or whether a will is contested by living family members are matters that will affect the outcome of the probate process. At Bridge Law LLP, our team members are sensitive to and familiar with these situations. We will work with you and your family to maintain cooperation and ensure that your assets are distributed per your wishes and as required by law.
Probate can be an intimidating process and involves arduous tasks such as:
- Issuing letters of administration
- Conducting an inventory and appraisal of the decedent’s assets
- Filing tax returns on behalf of the estate
- Contacting the decedent’s creditors
- Publishing legal notices
- Selling real property
- Distributing assets while limiting taxes
Accomplished Probate Administration
Probate is the process for a court-managed distribution of the owned assets (the estate) of a departed individual. Assets are to be distributed to beneficiaries based on instructions found in the written will of the departed. The individual selected to administer the estate must be prepared to navigate the often complex process and make the necessary decisions in order to finalize documents, pay debts, and to close an estate.
The loss of a loved one is difficult enough without the stress and burden of the probate process. Probate law is complicated and mistakes can be very costly in terms of money, time lost, and liabilities. We have the experience to advise fiduciaries and trustees on the management and administration of probate filings and distributions.
All facets of estate administration may be included in the probate process:
- Totaling all assets
- Identifying all heirs
- Verifying validity of a will
- Appointing an estate administrator or executor
- Payment of applicable taxes and debts
- Distribution of remaining assets
The costs of probate are set by law and depend on the fair market value of each asset (as opposed to the equity the decedent had in the asset). For example, the Probate Code sets forth as follows:
- 4% of the first $100,000 of the gross estate value
- 3% of the next $100,000 of the gross estate value
- 2% of the next $800,000 of the gross estate value
- 1% of the next $9,000,000 of the gross estate value
- ½% of the next $15,000,000 of the gross estate value
On top of these fees are what is also referred to as “extraordinary fees,” and can constitute items like sales of real property, disputes of wills, or handling tax issues related to the estate.
The Next Estate Planning Step
As the executor or administrator of an estate, you will need guidance from a knowledgeable legal guide to help avoid pitfalls along the way. Call for a free initial consultation with Bridge Law LLP today to get started with the probate process.