Even the closest of brothers, sisters, or cousins can experience tension where a will is concerned. Sometimes when someone says the word “lawyer,” his or her family members suddenly get defensive, as if the person who suggests a lawyer doesn’t trust them. “Do they think I’m going to try to get their share?” But when it comes to probate and wills, it’s about more than whether or not you trust each other. There are situations that require an attorney no matter how loving and ethical all the relatives are. If you are wondering whether you need a probate lawyer in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County,read on.
What is Probate?
Probate is a court case that can involve several components. It can be about making sure a will is valid, transferring property to heirs or beneficiaries, and wrapping up any financial responsibilities of the deceased. Probate lawyers in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, Johnston Thomas Attorneys at Law can assist you with probate or represent you in case of litigation.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer for Probate?
Usually when someone dies, at least one visit by the family to a lawyer is suggested. If there will be a probate court case, don’t be alarmed—it’s totally normal and doesn’t mean there’s something wrong. Whether it goes to probate court depends on how much money and property is involved and who is claiming the property.
If you are the custodian of the will, there are certain steps you have to take within 30 days or you can be sued. You may or may not want a lawyer to help you with this.
If the person who passed away has an estate of less than $150,000, talk to a lawyer to find out if you can go through a simplified process. See California Probate Code section 13050 for a list that will help you calculate the estate’s value.
Consulting an attorney about any homes owned by the person who passed away can be beneficial. How homes and other property was owned and left to beneficiaries varies greatly and affects the beneficiaries legally and financially.
A lawyer makes probate simple. Sometimes it only takes one or two visits.
If anyone contests the will, most people hire a lawyer right away. Again, no one needs to be upset about the hiring of a lawyer even in this case. Lawyers simply understand all the legalities and make sure everyone gets what is entitled to them.
Finding a Probate Lawyer in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County
Johnston Thomas Attorneys at Law specializes in probate. CONTACT US or call (707) 200-1362 today and we’ll guide you through the complex world of probate or, if necessary, litigation. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions.