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Common Myths About The California Probate Process


Most people do not know about the California probate process, mainly because it is a topic that they don’t want to deal with. Nevertheless, it is vital that you familiarize yourself with the subject of probate. Familiarizing yourself with this subject can help you avoid falling for myths and making wrong decisions. The reality is that there are many myths about the California probate process. But, how can you tell a myth from a fact? The truth is that it can be challenging to distinguish a myth from a fact. This is why this article looks at some of the most common myths about the California probate process.

Myth #1: If a Person Dies Without a Will, the State Gets Everything

Some people believe that if someone dies without a will in California, the state will get everything, and the decedent’s family will get nothing. This is far from the truth. If a person dies with no will in place in California, the state’s intestate succession law kicks in. California’s intestate succession law ensures that assets that belong to a decedent who left no will go to their (the decedent’s) closest relatives. For example, if a person who dies intestate (without a will) leaves behind a spouse but no children, siblings, parents, nieces, or nephews, the spouse will inherit everything. If a person who dies intestate leaves behind children but no spouse, the children will inherit everything. It’s only if no surviving relatives can be found that a decedent’s estate can “escheat” to the state. When an estate escheats to a state, it means ownership of the estate has been transferred to the state. However, rarely does this happen.

Myth #2: The California Probate Process Takes Years

The truth is that, depending on various factors, such as how huge the estate is and the challenges involved, it can take years to probate an estate in California. However, the California probate process does not always take years. In California, again, depending on several factors, it can take only a few months to probate an estate. With that said, while dealing with the probate process, you need to exercise patience and remember that time is necessary because the probate process involves several steps.

Myth #3: Probate Is Quite Expensive in California

Indeed, probate can be expensive. However, every estate is different, meaning some estates will require a lot of money to probate while others will not require a lot of money. So, you should not try to avoid probate just because someone else spent a lot on probating their loved one’s estate.

Myth #4: As an Executor, I Don’t Need an Attorney To Go Through the Probate Process

Although it is possible for an executor to go through the California probate process without an attorney’s help, it is not recommendable that you do so. Taking on the California probate process on your own can be exhausting. If, for example, someone contests the will or a creditor makes an unreasonable demand, you might become overwhelmed. An attorney can help you handle such and many other challenges.

Contact a California Probate Lawyer

Do you need more information about the California probate process or help with the probate process? If so, feel free to contact the dedicated California probate attorney, Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy – to schedule a telephonic consultation.


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