Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard enough, but then the decedent's estate has to be settled. Settling the estate can be a complex and tedious task with potential liability to the estate representative if the law is not followed. We can help guide you through the estate settlement "maze" with non-probate transfers, probate administration, and/or trust administration.
NON-PROBATE TRANSFERS - Avoiding probate is possible, but will depend on your circumstances. Small estates may be passed by a "Small Estate Affidavit" without any court involvement. Assets held in joint tenancy, such as a house will only require a simple filing with the county recorder and will usually not require court involvement. Other instances such as filing a Hegstead Petition and/or Spousal Property Petition involves the court, but may avoid probate under the proper circumstances
PROBATE - Probate is typically required when an asset does not designate a beneficiary of some sort or are not properly titled in the name of a trust. Probate can be a yearlong (or longer) ordeal, and involves the supervision of the probate court. Probate is an involved process which can be expensive and time consuming. Our firm will look for strategies to avoid probate, but if probate is ultimately needed, our firm can assist you.
TRUST ADMINISTRATION - If you have been named as a successor Trustee for the decedent's revocable living trust, California law provides that you must perform certain duties. For example, the Trustee must provide notice of irrevocable trust to the heirs of the decedent and beneficiaries of the trust, provide an annual accounting if requested, obtain a taxpayer ID number, lodge the decedent's will with the court along with other duties that a trustee may have. In addition to complying with California law, the Trustee is required to carry out the terms of the trust itself, and our firm can assist you with the interpretation and proper administration of the trust.
law offices of edward s. inouye
2601 Main Street Suite 580 Irvine, CA 92614
PHONE (949) 442-9999 FAX (949) 442-9998
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