California Estate Planning Blog by Kevin Staker

June 23, 2017

A Brief Explanation of Probate

Filed under: Kevin Staker,Probate — Kevin Staker @ 8:13 am
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Kevin Staker Probate and Trust Mediation pic

Kevin Staker Probate and Trust Mediation
Image: staker.com

An experienced estate attorney based in Camarillo, California, Kevin Staker has led as president and principal of StakerLaw Tax and Estate Planning since 1985. In 2016, Kevin Staker also became principal of an independent probate and trust mediation company.

Probate is the process by which a court oversees the identification, appraisal, and distribution of a deceased individual’s assets. It often begins when an individual presents the deceased person’s will and files a petition of probate. If no will exists, probate begins with the appointment of an administrator, who is typically a close family member if possible or a public administrator otherwise.

Once the executor has received official appointment, the court admits the will into probate and the executor may begin to administer relevant assets. This process begins with the collection and inventorying of assets, which the executor must officially file with the court.

The executor is also responsible for using assets in probate to pay any due taxes, bills, and other expenses that the deceased has left behind. In some cases, doing so may involve selling non-cash assets. The executor may also need to set aside funds for the support of family members during the remaining phase of probate, in which the executor officially distribute the deceased’s property according to the terms of the will.