When we are hired by families to help them with the process of probate they often ask what it entails.  Although no two probates are the same, the following is a list of the duties required:

  1. File all required probate documents  with the court
  2. Locate and file the Last Will and Testament with the court
  3. Secure personal, real and tangible property
  4. List, locate, close and transfer personal assets/accounts
  5. Appraise and value all assets
  6. Pay debts and expenses associated with the last illness and funeral
  7. File appropriate tax returns, pay estate and final personal income taxes
  8. Ascertain and notify all known creditors of the estate
  9. Contact and notify the court's probate referee
  10. Process life insurance death benefits
  11. Make payments to creditors, discharge obligations and obtain creditor releases
  12. Make specific bequests, as well as partial and final distributions to beneficiaries
  13. Provide a complete and detailed accounting to the court and beneficiaries
  14. Obtain tax releases and closing letters from state and federal taxing authorities

This is all very difficult, as you can imagine, even without the added grief of coping with the loss of your loved one.  Fortunately, we are here to help you and guide you and your family through this process with compassion and sensitivity. You do not have to go through the California probate court system alone.