How Probate Law Can Affect Your Estate

Monday, June 1, 2015 | 7:36 pm

First things first—what is probate law? Probate, according to the Legal Dictionary, is “the court process by which a will is proved valid or invalid. The legal process wherein the estate of a decedent is administered.”

When you pass away, the probate process will make sure your estates are transferred in an orderly manner. Whether you leave a will or not, probate will still apply to your properties.

When you leave a valid will, your will tells the court how the estate will be transferred during probate and to whom. If you don’t have a valid will, or your will only covers a part of your estate, then the court will dictate who gets what parts of your estate.

Probate deals with these two important steps: paying your debts and transferring assets to your heirs or beneficiaries. The probate court will oversee the process by carrying out the following steps: swearing in your personal representative, informing heirs and creditors of your passing, making an inventory of your property, and distributing your estate.

The court can name your personal representative if you die without a will, you didn’t specify your personal representative, or the person you selected cannot serve for some reason. Whoever the representative is, he or she will be given official rights to manage your estate’s affairs.

When notifying people of your death, some state laws require a personal representative to publish a death notice in the newspaper. This way, people involved can file a claim against your estate.

Inventory of property is mandatory, because it allows the court to see if you have enough to cover debts and distribution to beneficiaries.

For the last process—distributing the estate—heirs and creditors will get their claims. The creditors can claim estate administration costs, family allowances, funeral expenses, taxes and debts, and all remaining claims.

This of course is just a brief overview of some of the basic processes. Every case has a caveat, proving probate law can be quite complicated. Many people need an expert like the Law Office of Schofield and Grossman to take care of it. Specializing in Probate and Estate Planning Law, this law firm will make sure your properties are protected way after death.

And it’s easy to put your trust in a lawyer like Anthony Grossman.

“I think out of the box; I have the ability to look at a situation from a creative point of view, using the law and the facts in a way that is most beneficial,” explains Grossman.

“I appreciate and respect the types of things we’re doing; when I feel that way, I get very involved. I am also always coming up with the worst case scenarios and ways to handle those situations,” says Grossman.

Schofield and Grossman is located at 201 S. Lake Avenue Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 578-0708 or visit

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