FULLERTON PROBATE
LAWYER

Practice Areas

FULLERTON PROBATE ATTORNEY

Experiencing the death of a beloved family member or friend is never easy. Unfortunately, no one can truly prepare for the emotional toll the death of a loved one causes. In addition, the various responsibilities that follow the death of a loved one can bring even more stress. Ensuring the proper handling of your loved one’s final wishes is often a very time-consuming, emotional process.

However, it is important to know that you are not alone. Handling the probate proceedings for a loved one does not need to fall entirely on your shoulders, especially when there are so many other things you must tend to during this difficult time. By securing the help of a Fullerton probate attorney, you can approach the probate process with confidence and understanding.

ENSURING QUALITY PROBATE LEGAL SERVICES FOR FULLERTON, CALIFORNIA

Hiring a California estate planning law expert is essential to ensuring your loved one’s estate is handled according to their wishes. At the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker, we understand the stress and concerns that come with handling probate proceedings, which is why we strive to make the process as smooth as possible for those experiencing this difficult time.

We can provide you with sound legal advice and represent your loved one’s interest in probate court. We can also help ensure the probate process is completed quickly and efficiently. Fullerton clients trust the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker to provide them with the legal representation they need after a loved one’s passing.

WHAT IS PROBATE AND ESTATE PLANNING LAW?

Probate is a legal process that deals with a deceased person’s assets, primarily by proving or authenticating any will and officially naming an executor or administrator of the estate. In this way, the probate court system ensures that an estate’s assets are distributed to the appropriate party or parties. During the Orange County probate process, a series of legal steps will declare a person legally dead, oversee the collection of all their assets and debts, determine the value of the assets, pay off any remaining debts and taxes, and distribute the remaining assets to those entitled to receive them.

Essential actions addressed during the probate process include:

  • Will validation. This action determines the legality of any will created by the decedent. Any claims to contest the validity or legality of a will are handled with additional legal hearings known as probate litigation.
  • Witness validation. If there is any question regarding the will’s validity, its witnesses may be brought in to testify if possible.
  • Estate tax filings. Any estate tax forms required to be filed by the deceased individual or their estate representatives are examined and paid accordingly.
  • Asset appraisal and payment of debts. All the deceased individual’s assets must be appraised and their value determined. This part of the process is especially important because it ensures that an individual’s creditors and any other interested parties are paid accordingly before the remainder of the estate is distributed.
  • Identifying beneficiaries. The court and the executor will identify any beneficiaries to a deceased individual’s estate and determine their potential inheritance according to the will.
  • Distributing a deceased person’s assets. The remaining assets the decedent has left behind are divided among those entitled to receive them.
  • Guardianship/Conservatorship. This legal process is used to determine who will assume responsibility for the care and custody of a minor or other legally dependent person.

Hiring a Fullerton estate planning lawyer is your best option when it comes to ensuring that these legal processes are handled correctly and as efficiently as possible.

DO I NEED A PROBATE LAWYER?

The probate process is extremely complex, especially if you have never needed to deal with the legal aftermath of a loved one’s passing. It can be difficult to keep track of the required legal documents and schedule and attend the various court dates. A probate attorney can help you ensure the proper paperwork is completed correctly and filed in a timely manner. They will also be able to provide sound legal representation in the courtroom, which is especially necessary if probate litigation adds an additional step to this already complex process.

In general, a probate lawyer can:

  • Explain the legal rights and responsibilities of all involved, including trustees, executors, or administrators.
  • File all court documents correctly and on time.
  • Represent the wishes of your loved one or represent you during probate litigation.
  • Serve as a legal liaison between you and other individuals involved in the process.
  • Determine the validity of any wills or trusts and manage trust administration.
  • Make sure all court dates are attended by all parties involved.
  • Help determine the value of an estate’s assets, so they can be distributed accordingly.

The value of hiring a probate lawyer will be instrumental in the overall success of your case.

WHAT ASSETS ARE COMMONLY DISTRIBUTED AFTER A DEATH

Many types of assets can be distributed after a death. Often, these assets are distributed when a will is probated. Assets can include:

  • Real estate holdings, including land and buildings
  • Vehicles
  • Jewelry
  • Weapons
  • Bank accounts, including the contents of a checking or savings account
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Retirement accounts
  • Cash on hand
  • Business interests
  • Pension plans

If one or more individuals contests their rightful ownership, the above assets may become the subject of probate litigation.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PROBATE LAWYER AND AN ESTATE LAWYER?

A will must be validated and administered via the probate process, so a will can involve both estate law and probate law. An estate lawyer can care for multiple legal aspects of an individual’s estate before they pass away. Estate attorneys can help create wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other elements of a comprehensive estate plan. Often, estate lawyers can act as probate lawyers after the individual passes away.

Probate lawyers work to handle the probate proceedings after an individual dies. This can include administering the will, filing court documents, and ensuring your inheritance is distributed correctly. If probate litigation arises during the administration of the estate, a probate lawyer may represent one of the parties involved in litigation. Both probate lawyers and estate lawyers are essential parts of the estate planning and probate process.

HOW MUCH DOES A PROBATE LAWYER USUALLY COST?

The fee for hiring a probate lawyer can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the estate or the type of disagreement that led to litigation. The more time they must spend on your case, the higher the fees. Probate attorneys often charge by the hour, but some work based on a flat fee for probating a will and other common probate duties. Attorneys may also charge a retainer fee, which is a flat fee charged upfront that can be used towards legal services before the case has concluded.

HOW DO I FIND A GOOD PROBATE LAWYER?

It is essential to do your due diligence when hiring a probate attorney, especially if you are unfamiliar with the probate process. Ask for referrals from family and friends to find an attorney that will treat your case with the dignity and respect it deserves. Alternatively, conduct research online to find a reputable Fullerton probate lawyer with a strong track record of handling probate cases.

Once you’ve identified top Fullerton probate attorneys, ask these important questions:

  • What makes you the best candidate for my case?
  • What is your success rate?
  • What are your fees? If applicable, how much do your retainer fees cost?
  • What will you do to prepare for my case?
  • How long have you been practicing law?
  • Will I contact you directly, or will I need to speak with an associate?
  • Is there anything else you think I should know about the probate process that I might find helpful?

The answers to these questions will help you decide whether the lawyer in question is right for your case.

WHAT IF I NEED PROBATE LITIGATION?

Most people find themselves in need of a probate attorney because they have been named an executor or administrator of an estate. However, there are times when family members or potential beneficiaries take issue with the terms of the trust of the actions of an administrator.

Call our firm if you believe:

  • The terms of a will or trust are unjust
  • The will is invalid and should be disputed
  • Assets were distributed wrongfully
  • The administrator, trustee, or executor breached their duty or acted in their own self-interest

These are situations in which you’d need a probate litigation attorney.

If your case goes to court, your attorney should be able to find evidence and secure testimony, then present that evidence and testimony in a compelling manner. They will also work with you to strengthen your case and improve your arguments. During this phase of the process, you can expect your lawyer to ask tough questions and present valid arguments for why the opposing side is not the rightful owner of the contested property or acted irresponsibly. This phase should be taken seriously and handled by an experienced attorney in probate law.

CONTACT CHRISTOPHER P. WALKER TODAY FOR ORANGE COUNTY PROBATE SERVICES

At the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker, we are passionate about probate law. We take pride in our ability to provide personalized legal services for each client that seeks our assistance. Our goal is to save you the stress and headache of managing this complicated legal process alone. Please contact us today for more information about how we can help ensure that your loved one’s assets are distributed according to their wishes.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PROBATE LAWYER AND AN ESTATE LAWYER?

A will must be validated and administered via the probate process, so a will can involve both estate law and probate law. An estate lawyer can care for multiple legal aspects of an individual’s estate before they pass away. Estate attorneys can help create wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other elements of a comprehensive estate plan. Often, estate lawyers can act as probate lawyers after the individual passes away.

Probate lawyers work to handle the probate proceedings after an individual dies. This can include administering the will, filing court documents, and ensuring your inheritance is distributed correctly. If probate litigation arises during the administration of the estate, a probate lawyer may represent one of the parties involved in litigation. Both probate lawyers and estate lawyers are essential parts of the estate planning and probate process.

HOW MUCH DOES A PROBATE LAWYER USUALLY COST?

The fee for hiring a probate lawyer can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the estate or the type of disagreement that led to litigation. The more time they must spend on your case, the higher the fees. Probate attorneys often charge by the hour, but some work based on a flat fee for probating a will and other common probate duties. Attorneys may also charge a retainer fee, which is a flat fee charged upfront that can be used towards legal services before the case has concluded.

HOW DO I FIND A GOOD PROBATE LAWYER?

It is essential to do your due diligence when hiring a probate attorney, especially if you are unfamiliar with the probate process. Ask for referrals from family and friends to find an attorney that will treat your case with the dignity and respect it deserves. Alternatively, conduct research online to find a reputable Fullerton probate lawyer with a strong track record of handling probate cases.

Once you’ve identified top Fullerton probate attorneys, ask these important questions:

  • What makes you the best candidate for my case?
  • What is your success rate?
  • What are your fees? If applicable, how much do your retainer fees cost?
  • What will you do to prepare for my case?
  • How long have you been practicing law?
  • Will I contact you directly, or will I need to speak with an associate?
  • Is there anything else you think I should know about the probate process that I might find helpful?

The answers to these questions will help you decide whether the lawyer in question is right for your case.

WHAT IF I NEED PROBATE LITIGATION?

Most people find themselves in need of a probate attorney because they have been named an executor or administrator of an estate. However, there are times when family members or potential beneficiaries take issue with the terms of the trust of the actions of an administrator.

Call our firm if you believe:

  • The terms of a will or trust are unjust
  • The will is invalid and should be disputed
  • Assets were distributed wrongfully
  • The administrator, trustee, or executor breached their duty or acted in their own self-interest

These are situations in which you’d need a probate litigation attorney.

If your case goes to court, your attorney should be able to find evidence and secure testimony, then present that evidence and testimony in a compelling manner. They will also work with you to strengthen your case and improve your arguments. During this phase of the process, you can expect your lawyer to ask tough questions and present valid arguments for why the opposing side is not the rightful owner of the contested property or acted irresponsibly. This phase should be taken seriously and handled by an experienced attorney in probate law.

CONTACT CHRISTOPHER P. WALKER TODAY FOR FULLERTON PROBATE SERVICES

At the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker, we are passionate about probate law. We take pride in our ability to provide personalized legal services for each client that seeks our assistance. Our goal is to save you the stress and headache of managing this complicated legal process alone. Please contact us today for more information about how we can help ensure that your loved one’s assets are distributed according to their wishes.

From Our Clients