About San Diego Probate and Wills
When dealing with San Diego probate, it can be difficult to decipher myth from fact. As an executor, this may be your first time dealing with the probate process, which means that you may be completely unfamiliar with what information is trustworthy and what information is not. This is why I have compiled a list of common myths surrounding San Diego probate that could help to ease the process.
Don’t Start the Process by Assuming Probate is “Bad”
Although the mention of probate is enough to make anyone cringe, it is important to remember that the San Diego probate process is in place to serve an important purpose. If your loved one passes without a will or estate plan, the San Diego probate court allows for their assets to be distributed to the heirs. Without the San Diego probate court system, there would not be a way to ensure the fair distribution of your loved one’s assets. The process of probate may not be fun but it is not as merciless as many have come to believe.
Probate is Not a Road You Must Take Alone
It should also be mentioned that there are plenty of trained professionals, like me, who are available to help you. There are attorneys to take care of the legal aspects of the estate and guide you through any court documents. One of those documents is the important Letters of Administration that legally appoints you as the personal representative for the estate. Once you have been appointed and received your Letters of Administration, a San Diego real estate broker can handle the sale of the decedent’s home. You’ll want to consider someone like me, with many years of experience helping executors and administrators with property in probate. Consider that, when the process begins to overwhelm you, you will have the right professionals to do the time-consuming work for you. Making the process simpler…for you.
Having A Will Does Not Avoid Probate
Even if a will exists, heirs are still not able to bypass the San Diego probate court system. This is because there are often multiple assets to an estate; without a Trust or beneficiary designation, it is the duty of the courts to oversee the distribution of all the assets. Although this may be frustrating, it is in place for a good reason; the court process ensures that the estate is equally divided among all of the heirs.
A Will is Not Absolute
An attorney friend shared with me that many people assume that their will cannot be contested or changed after their death. However many circumstances allow for the challenging of a will. For example, if there are not enough witnesses to sign the will or the witnesses are heirs to the estate, then the will may not be valid. Another situation that would constitute an invalid will is the existence of a more recent will. Typically an older will is voided or destroyed when a new one is drafted, but occasionally there are discrepancies about which will undermines the other. There is no guarantee that any will is going to be followed word for word, but to help diminish the amount of challenges to a will, it is important to make sure that it allows for reasonable compensation to all eligible parties.
There is a Time Limit to Adhere to
In San Diego, Letters of Administration expire after 18 months. Once the letters have expired, it is more difficult (and more money) to continue with the process. This is why it is important to raise concern about any issues surrounding the estate within the proper time frame. If you wish to contest a will, you should first obtain legal representation to make sure all the “t’s” are crossed and the “i’s” are dotted. Contesting a will is difficult but, without proper legal representation, it is virtually impossible.
To conclude, you should always double-check the facts that you hear or read with both your lawyer and your real estate agent. If you are in need of answers to any questions about a property in San Diego probate, feel comfortable calling me, Kim Ward. I look forward to guiding you through the facts and fiction of the San Diego probate real estate process.