Monday, May 13, 2013

The Complex Job of a Probate Attorney in Orange County


Think of getting a probate representative as similar to hiring a babysitter to watch over the kids while the parents are away. The parents grant the babysitter authority over the children, just like how a probate court (or the decedent himself) bestows authority on a person to represent the late real estate owner. Probate, or the proving of a will, comes before any real estate property can be distributed to the intended recipients.

A probate attorney in Orange County explains that the representative can either be assigned, as stated in the will, or appointed by a judge if no such document is available. The former is called an executor, while the latter is called an administrator. Real estate law demands the presence of a personal representative in court for transparency. If the property is worth more than $50,000, it has to be probated, except for a few exceptions such as if the deceased's spouse is still alive, and the spouse is on title.

Under the former law, the value was originally pegged at $20,000, but was brought up to $50,000 as per a law that was put into effect in 2012. The reason behind the increase was to keep more properties out of probate. This way, the government hopes to reduce delays and inconveniences.

It is the responsibility of the executor to inform the beneficiaries or recipients of the real estate about the property being probated. This will allow the beneficiaries to discuss how to manage the land now that the original owner is gone. Any contests to the will must be performed within a limited time before the payment phase.

The executor has power over the real estate in question over the course of the probate, though not to the point that he can own it unless specified in the will. He must ensure the safety of the property, making sure that no party takes advantage of its neutrality. He can also perform a number of functions such as paying taxes and assessing claims without court permission.

While California probate has grown more straightforward over the years, you must still know what to do. This is where a probate attorney in Orange County like Dwight Edward Tompkins comes in. High-value real estate properties are complicated to handle alone, which is why a probate lawyer is definitely worth considering.