At The Werner Law Firm, our Santa Barbara probate attorneys and legal team have handled probate matters for satisfied clients in California for over four decades, and we understand how important it is to make things as easy as possible for our clients. As dedicated probate attorneys, we are here to help your family better manage and navigate the challenges of probate.
Probate can be a complex and stressful process – but with the right law firm, it can be manageable and understandable. Our goal is to lift the burden from clients’ shoulders, make the process as easy as possible, and keep clients in the know every step of the way.
Probate in California begins after a loved one has passed away when there is an asset you cannot otherwise deal with. Starting the probate process is simple enough, and requires filing a petition with the local county court. In the petition, an individual (usually a relative of the deceased/decedent) will file a petition to begin the probate process, with a death certificate and, if it exists, the decedent’s last will and testament.
Along with accounting for the assets and debts of the decedent’s estate, the probate process is also meant to settle any existing disputes regarding the decedent’s will, ensuring that the last will is given proper legitimacy.
Once a petition for probate is filed, the first matter at hand is the appointment of an administrator to oversee the execution of the will. Sometimes the decedent will have nominated an executor in their will. Otherwise, the court will make a decision based on who is applying to be the administrator, as well as their competence and relationship to the decedent. Our typical probate client is a family member of the decedent, and we ask the court to appoint our client as administrator. It is rare for an independent third party to serve as administrator, and usually that is because either there is a dispute between family members on who should be appointed administrator or there is no one willing to step up to act as administrator.
Once someone is appointed, the formal administration of the estate can begin. The more complicated the estate, the longer typically this process takes. That said, having an experienced probate attorney can help you navigate the requirements as efficiently and quickly as possible. With decades of combined experience, our Santa Barbara probate attorneys afford us the ability to navigate even the most complex estates.
With larger estates, the margin for error grows. Because the bulk of the legwork during the probate process lies in accurately accounting for all assets and debts, and ensuring that any will admitted to probate is followed, it is important to handle these matters properly. Diligence is critical, and here at The Werner Law Firm, our Santa Barbara probate attorneys work hard to make the process as easy as possible for our clients.
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7 W. Figueroa St., Suite 200
Santa Barbara, California 93101
The probate process typically lasts about a year or more. The factors involved in determining the cost and length of probate typically involve the size and complexity of the estate, as well as any existing estate disputes, title issues, a large group of beneficiaries, unusual or complicated assets (from racehorses to patents), and more. In many cases, professional help can drastically improve the speed and outcome of the process.
Putting our years of experience to use, we help clients untangle the complexities of probate and turn what can be a very confusing situation into one where the path forward is clear and tangible. The death of a loved one should be a time for grieving, not one for dealing with legal paperwork, filing various petitions, or writing public notices to creditors. We hope to demystify the probate process and help our clients minimize the time and effort needed to navigate through probate.
Book a FREE consultation with The Werner Law Firm of California today!
23 Corporate Plaza Dr., Suite 150
Newport Beach, California 92660