Probate is the formal legal process that fulfills the wishes contained in a will as well as appoints the executor who will administer the actions on behalf of the estate, and distribute assets to the intended beneficiaries. A simplified probate procedure, often called a summary probate, is a simplified probate proceeding that is available for small estates. You can use the simplified small estate process in California if the estate has a value of $150,000 or less.
While often considered prolonged and taxing, the simplified probate has only a handful of steps that the executor must undertake to catalog and distribute any remaining assets. The first step is filing a small estate affidavit to begin the probate. In addition to the petition, you'll need to file a valid will, if one exists, and the death certificate. The second step is letting everyone know that a probate process is currently underway for the estate. That means contacting creditors, beneficiaries and heirs. The third step, and often lengthiest, is cataloging the assets of the estate which must be appraised and presented to the court. The fourth step involves setting all accounts related to the estate which entails obtaining owed debts and paying credits owed and any outstanding debts. The fifth step is the apportionment of all the assets to the beneficiaries. The sixth and final step is closing the estate by formally submitting a request to the court and resigning your duties as executor.
Teuninck & Debishoppe, your friendly San Jose Legal Document Assistant, can assist you in the execution of the simple probate process ensuring a smooth allocation of assets and easing the burden placed on your family. Get in touch with us below and we will reach out to you shortly!