When you lose a loved one in California, unless their assets were primarily jointly owned, or their estate is worth less than $150,000, you will have to make an application to the probate court to start the probate process. When the decedent has a will in place, the court will validate the will, and allow the named executor to start gathering, and valuing assets, and determining what outstanding debts were owed by the decedent.
If the decedent had no will, the court will appoint an administrator of the estate. With few exceptions, California probate is handled through Independent Administration of Estates Act, which means the executor, or administrator of the estate is not required to ask the court’s permission to perform their duties.
Because there are certain notifications to be made to debtors, heirs, and tax filings to be completed, it is often helpful to work with an attorney who understands the California probate. San Diego, CA families who have lost a loved on recently, and need help with probate, should contact the Carlsbad, San Diego, or Vista office of Brennan & David Law Group for assistance.