California residents who are drafting their wills need to know all the details about how the document takes effect for beneficiaries named therein. The probate process can take a while and this has a lot to do with the necessary procedures and requirements that pertain to estate planning and administration. There are some ways you can avoid probate, depending on the circumstances.
What is probate?
It is important to have a thorough understanding of probate, which is the process of administration of an individual’s will and is supervised by the court. It is important to keep in mind that the decedent can pass away before or after the will is legally binding. If the will is legally in place at the time of the estate owner’s death, the property will be distributed according to the instructions the decedent left in the will. If the decedent dies before the will is in place, the property will be distributed according to California’s intestate succession laws. Whether an individual has a will or not, the courts will still facilitate the distribution of the estate and settle any legal disagreements.
When does the probate process start?
The probate process starts when the executor submits the will for probate by the court. The will must be submitted to the court where the decedent was a resident or owned property. The estate will be responsible for paying any outstanding debts and taxes, and the remaining property will be distributed to the beneficiaries that are named in the document. The time it takes to complete this process will depend on the number of debts and taxes that need to be paid, if there are any contested issues, and the number of beneficiaries that are named in the document as well as their proximity.
Speak with an attorney in your area to get more information on estate planning. A lawyer can also let you know how you can expedite the probate process if you are a beneficiary.