Your last will and testament will allow you to plan and execute the use and distribution of your assets. You won't have to worry about what happens to your assets and beneficiaries if you have everything in place before you go.

That said, what happens when you don't have a last will and testament? Do you have to go through several hoops to make one?

Here's what our experienced Los Angeles Estate Law Attorneys have to say:

los angeles last will and testament

What If I Didn't Have A Will In Los Angeles?

The probate court will follow the intestacy statutes to divide your property if you die without making a last will and testament. According to the legislation, your property will be given to your immediate relatives. If you don't have any close relatives, your nieces and nephews will take over as the beneficiaries of your estate.

Sometimes people don't have live nieces, nephews, or other close relatives. The property will then be distributed to distant relatives by the probate court, or the state will inherit it if it is not possible.

The state cannot take your property if you have a will. Instead, it will go to the people, charities, and causes you wish to be beneficiaries. So, contact a prescreened estate planning lawyer in Los Angeles to start managing your assets.

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What About My Personal Assets?

Assets that aren't subject to probate can go straight to your beneficiaries. For example, all of your assets held in a trust, as well as the payouts from insurance policies and retirement accounts, are considered non-probate assets. Accounts that are Transfer on Death and Payable on Death also bypass probate. Additionally, no joint property of yours will go through probate.

For instance, if you and your spouse jointly own a home, your estate will avoid probate when you pass away. Your spouse will take exclusive ownership of the property instead. When drafting your last will and testament, one of our estate planning lawyers in Los Angeles may assist you in deciding which assets will be subject to probate and which won't.

How Long Will Los Angeles Probate Take?

According to California law, the executor of a will or other representative of the deceased must finish the probate procedure within a year of their appointment (often months after the date of death), or they must formally explain their inability to the court.

In reality, however, the procedure frequently takes 18 to 24 months, mainly when courts are booked, or some mistakes slow things down.

How Much Does Probate Cost In Los Angeles?

According to California state law, probate charges may include court costs, executor fees, lawyer fees, property appraisal fees, certified copy prices, accounting costs, legal costs, and/or a surety bond,

The fees will probably be significantly higher, and the process may take years to conclude if someone contests a will or the beneficiaries disagree with distribution in any other way. Therefore, when someone challenges a will, it would be crucial for you or your heirs to contact a California estate planning lawyer.

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Hire A Estate Planning Attorney in California

Do you need a California Estate Planning Attorney? Get a referral to top estate planning lawyers near you!

1000Attorneys is a State of California Certified Estate Planning Lawyer Referral Service that can refer you to a prescreened California lawyer in minutes. Contact us through our 24/7 live chat (or complete our case details submission form) for a free initial consultation.