San Jose Probate Lawyer
Estate Distribution Attorney Serving San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Alameda Counties
At Manassau Law Offices, P.C., we aid personal representatives and families who have lost a loved one through the process of probate.
Probate is the court process in which the assets of the deceased are distributed according to their wills or by law. In the case of a person who dies with a will, estate distribution is normally done according to their wishes unless the will is invalidated for some reason. If the person dies without a will, they have died "intestate," and the laws of probate will govern how their estate is distributed
When someone passes away, the title to their assets must be formally transferred to a survivor. Unless your assets are held in a trust, the assets of the deceased must go through probate.
During probate, the court will validate the will or determine whether the deceased died without a will. The probate court will also appoint an estate executor or administrator if one is not named in the will. The executor is responsible for:
- Paying any debts or taxes owed by the estate;
- Inventorying and evaluating the estate assets;
- Monitoring contractual agreements;
- Responding to claims against the estate; and
- Distributing personal property or real estate.
Attorney fees for probating an estate are by statute as a percentage of the gross value of the estate.
Probate is a lengthy process that takes from nine months at a minimum. The average length of probate is two years, although probate for contested estates can drag on for decades.