If you are an administrator or executor for a loved one's estate, you will find that there may be little time to emotionally cope with the loss that you and your family have endured. That is because you will quickly face the reality of probate, the legal process through which an executor closes an estate and distributes assets to beneficiaries.
Many people think they have an estate plan that will properly distribute their assets to the right people at the right time. However, estate plans that cut corners can lead to an endless probate process or even expensive litigation. As the estate administrator, you have a legal responsibility to ensure everything is done in accordance with the law—and without guidance, you may not realize when you are making a crucial mistake.
We Will Address Every Detail of Probate and Look to the Future
The Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, Inc. is known throughout Southern California for crafting estate plans that help our clients and their loved ones avoid probate, but if your loved one's plan was drawn up by another firm, we will be happy to represent you in this process.
Our team has handled more than 4,000 administrations of estates after a death across Southern California. We will be able to help you get through this often-frustrating process while working to minimize your anxiety.
Our probate services include:
- Estate Administration. Your loved one's estate planning documents may include a Last Will and Testament, a Revocable Living Trust, or both. Our attorneys can help you to determine whether probate is necessary, what kind of probate the estate requires, and whether or not there are assets that could be exempt from the probate process.
- Inventory of Assets. Probate requires a complete listing of your loved one's assets and holdings, including bank and brokerage statements, life insurance policies, business interests, stock and bond certificates, real estate deeds, and car and boat titles. We can create a comprehensive inventory and provide an estimate for the date of death values for all listed assets.
- Debt Resolution. Any remaining debts and financial obligations of your loved one must be paid before the estate can be closed. We can ensure that outstanding credit card bills, medical bills, mortgages, personal loans, and other creditors are settled in a timely manner. We can also help prepare and file your loved one's final federal and state income tax returns and pay any taxes that may be levied at death.
- Asset Distribution. Each of your loved one's assets must be transferred to new owners in accordance with the law. The manner in which property is held can make the process easier, or in some cases, more complicated. Ownership of property held in trust may transfer immediately to the named trustee without the need for probate. Similarly, property that is jointly-owned or owned by tenants-in-common may be passed directly to the surviving owner. We examine how each asset is titled to determine the best way to pass it to the proper beneficiary.
- Next-Generation Planning. Once they receive their inheritances, beneficiaries will need their own estate plans to preserve their assets. We are here to assist the next generation of loved ones with their estate planning needs, including funding trusts for beneficiaries and modifying existing trusts when necessary. Even if you already have an estate plan, we can help you determine if you should revise or update your plan to better carry out your wishes and protect your loved ones.
Contact Us Today to Learn More
We have offices in Torrance, Woodland Hills, Orange, Pasadena, and Newport Beach, making it easy to help clients throughout Southern California. Contact us today for answers to your questions and let us guide your family through this difficult time.