Matthew W. Harris, Esq., LL.M

When a loved one passes away it is no doubt sad and extremely painful.   However, after an individual’s death, certain steps must occur according to California and federal law.   Probate addresses these steps.

Testate means that a person died in California with a valid will.  Whereas intestate means a person who died without a will.

A last will and testament is a written instrument directing who will own the decedent’s property (real and tangible) upon the decedent’s death.   A will is an ambulatory document meaning that it is subject to modification or revocation by the testator (creator of the will) during his or her lifetime.

Marin County Probate Attorney 

When a loved one passes away, it is sad and extremely painful.  However, after an individual’s death, certain steps must occur according to California and federal law. Matthew W. Harris, Esq. can guide you through the probate process.

 

Testate and Intestate

When an individual dies in California with a valid will, he or she has died “testate.” Whereas, “intestate” means when an individual dies without a will and his or her property passes through the law on intestacy.

 

A Will Or Last Will And Testament

A will or last will and testament is a written testamentary instrument signed by the testator (one who creates the will), which takes effect on his or her death that authorizes distribution of the testator’s property to his or her designated beneficiaries.   A will is an ambulatory document meaning that it is subject to modification or revocation by the testator during his or her lifetime.

 

How To Avoid Probate

A valid and comprehensive estate plan package can avoid probate.

 

What Documents Can Help Avoid Probate

A revocable living trust prepared by an estate planning attorney can avoid probate. Matthew W. Harris, Esq., LL.M can also advise several other probate avoidance techniques.

 

What to Do  If Someone Has  A Will Belonging to a Recently Deceased Person

According to California law on wills and probate, any person who is in physical possession of the deceased’s original will must “lodge” or file it with the Superior Court in the county where the deceased person was domiciled, within 30 days after receiving notice of the decedent’s death.

 

What is a Codicil and Executor? 

A codicil as a testamentary document that amends a valid will or last will and testament.

An executor of a last will and testament handles the deceased’s probate estate. The executor is the person who usually files a petition for probate to administer the deceased’s estate in accordance with the terms of the will.  The executor’s role is generally to ascertain, collect and inventory the deceased’s assets, to determine the deceased’s debts and liabilities, to pay off the deceased’s debts and liabilities and ultimately distribute the deceased’s assets (if solvent) to proper heirs or beneficiaries.

 

When Probate of a Will Occurs In Probate Courts.  

The probate process generally commences a few weeks after the death of a person. The personal representative of the deceased’s estate must lodge the original last will and testament, if any, inventory probate and non-probate assets, safeguard probate property, pay bills, and notify government agencies of the deceased’s death.

 

Call Matthew W. Harris, today for a free probate or probate avoidance consultation at (415) 521-5610.

 

How Much Does Probate Cost?

In California, probate attorneys are allowed fees for ordinary and extraordinary services.  Ordinary attorney services for the personal representative is based on the value of the deceased’s estate, as follows:

(1) 4% on the first on $100,000.

(2) 3% on the next one next $100,000.

(3) 2% on the next $800,000.

(4) 1% on the next ($9,000,000).

(5) .5% of 1% on the next $15,000,000.

(6) For all amounts above $25,000,000, a reasonable amount to be determined by the court.

Extraordinary attorney services are also granted for the personal representative in an amount the court determines is just and reasonable.

Call Matthew W. Harris, Esq.. at (415) 521-5610 for a free probate or probate avoidance consultation.

Marin Probate Attorney

 

LEGAL DISCLAIMER:

 The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.  This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, in any way an attorney-client relationship.  Matthew W. Harris, Esq., LL.M  is a California lawyer in good standing with the State Bar of California.  Matthew W. Harris is admitted to practice only in California.  Mr. Harris is not licensed to practice in any other jurisdiction.