Pasadena Probate Attorneys

Minimizing Stress and Expense

After a loved one passes away, dealing with a complicated legal process can be overwhelming for a family. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the time and expense of probate so that it does not drag on and so that assets are preserved for distribution to beneficiaries.

At the law firm of Fierstadt & Mans, LLP, we thoroughly understand the complex California probate laws and we know how to guide clients through the entire process. We take a personal, compassionate approach in these cases, recognizing that you are dealing with the loss of a loved one.

To arrange a consultation with an experienced Pasadena probate lawyer, call 626-449-7379. You may also contact our law firm online.

Some Basic Rules About California Probate

One of the primary purposes of estate planning is to avoid probate as much as possible. Generally speaking, a trust can be used to hold assets and keep them out of probate, while the items in a will are usually subject to probate. A few other specific features are important to note about probate in California:

  • If a married couple owns property together, the property automatically goes to the surviving spouse without being probated.
  • If total personal assets are less than $150,000, then probate may not be necessary.
  • If a person dies without a will, or dies while owning significant property outside of a trust, the estate goes through the probate process and, in the case of an individual dying intestate, distributed according to state law.

Various Tools to Avoid Probate

As mentioned, with proper planning our attorneys can help you largely avoid the probate process. Some of the most common ways to do this are:

  • Holding certain types of property in the name of both spouses, such as mutual funds, brokerage accounts and real estate
  • Using accounts with payable-on-death (POD) provisions, such as pension plans, IRAs and some checking accounts
  • Creating revocable trusts, which give the creator of the trust full use and control of the assets during life, and then distribute the assets according to the terms of the trust upon death. Trusts are easily amended, and we can help you do so when you have a child or other features of your family change.

You do not have to be intimidated by the probate process. With our help, it can be accomplished efficiently and with your best interests in mind. If a dispute does arise, we are very skilled at handling probate litigation and protecting clients' rights in court.

Contact a San Bernardino County Will Contest Lawyer

The lawyers at Fierstadt & Mans, LLP are ready to assist you with all aspects of probate in California. To learn more about how we can help, schedule a free 30-minute consultation by calling 626-449-7379. You can also contact our law firm online.