Trust & Probate Litigation Attorney

 1. What is probate?

Probate is the court-supervised process by which a decedent’s testamentary document, such as a will, is proven to be valid, and the subsequent procedure of administering the decedent’s estate.

 2. What is probate court?

Probate Court is a division of the county’s Superior Court (trial court) which handles cases involving the distribution of assets after a person passes away, the administration of trusts, adults who are unable to take care of themselves or their assets, and the...

 4. Is probate necessary?

If the decedent did not leave any assets in their own name, then probate is often unnecessary. Probate might be opened in these situations if the decedent owed significant debts to set a deadline for creditors to file a claim.

10. Do trusts go through probate?

No. When a trust holds title to a decedent’s property, then the decedent is no longer considered to have legal title to the property, and the trust document defines what to do with the property. Often, the trust document will identify specific beneficiaries to whom...

11. What happens if there is a will?

Usually, the decedent’s will names an individual to be the executor of their estate. After the probate court appoints an individual as the executor of the decedent’s estate, the executor will be responsible for collecting and distributing the decedent’s assets. An...

13. How can I find out if the decedent had a will?

First, check probate court in the county where the decedent lived. Whoever had a copy of the will should have deposited it to the probate court, and you can obtain a copy. If the probate court doesn’t have the decedent’s will, then you can file a Petition for Probate...

16. Can anyone be a personal representative?

Minors and individuals subject to conservatorship or who are otherwise incapable of fulfilling the duties of a personal representative are disqualified to act as the personal representative of a decedent’s estate. With few exceptions, a surviving business partner of...

17. What are the qualities required for a personal representative?

Personal representatives must be able to fulfill “fiduciary duties”. Although a personal representative does not need to be a legal or financial expert, they must have reasonably prudence and judgment, and be honest, loyal, impartial, and diligent. A personal...

18. What are the responsibilities of a personal representative?

The personal representative: 1) Decides if there are any estate assets; 2) Locates and manages the estate assets during the probate process; 3) Receives payments due to the estate, such as rent, unpaid salary, dividends, etc.; 4) Sets up an estate bank account to hold...