California Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing assets after a person has passed away. Unfortunately, probate is complicated, especially in the State of California and it is public.
We often hear complaints about how frustrating, time-consuming, expensive the probate process is. How long does the probate process take in California? It depends!!! It will depend on many factors: the size and complexity of the estate, the schedule of the probate court, and family members and/or creditors. In California, most probates take anywhere from 9 months to 2 years. Compensation is set by statute for the probate attorney and for the Executor. The Fees are based upon the gross fair market value of the estate. For example, an estate worth $1 million dollars, the attorney’s fees and the probate fees will be approximately $46,000. These fees can be avoided entirely if a Trust is executed and properly funded.
Generally speaking the probate process requires the filing of the petition with the local probate court. Then the executor will follow the steps which generally include the following:
- Notice to heirs named in the Will or, if there is no Will, to statutory heirs
- Petition to appoint an Executor (if there is a Will) or an Administrator
- Inventory and appraisal of all estate assets
- Payment of estate debt to creditors
- Sale of estate assets if needed
- Payment of estate taxes if necessary
- Then finally, Final distribution of assets to heirs
At Anderson Law, much of our practice is dedicated to helping families avoid California probate entirely. However, if you find yourself dealing with the California probate court, we can guide you through the process compassionately and efficiently.