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ESTATE PLANNING & PROBATE SERVICES FOR NORTH COUNTY

Protect Your Family And Your Legacy

We have been confidently guiding San Diego and North County families through the estate planning and administration process for more than 30 years.

 
ESTATE PLANNING & PROBATE SERVICES FOR NORTH COUNTY

Protect Your Family And Your Legacy

We have been confidently guiding San Diego and North County families through the estate planning and administration process for more than 30 years.

ESTATE PLANNING & PROBATE SERVICES FOR NORTH COUNTY

Protect Your Family And Your Legacy

We have been confidently guiding San Diego and North County families through the estate planning and administration process for more than 30 years.

Carlsbad Probate Lawyer

The probate process has a reputation for being complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. However, it isn’t uncommon for many California residents to be faced with probate court when the time comes for an estate to be distributed to heirs. Depending on the estate planning process the individual underwent prior to their passing, they could have left some or even all their estate subject to probate.

That said, it is important not to make probate any more difficult than it truly needs to be. Before the probate process begins, it is vital to have a trusted and highly experienced probate lawyer to guide you through the experience from beginning to end.

However, how is probate defined legally? In essence, probate refers to the distribution of an individual’s estate to their heirs (children, spouse, siblings, grandchildren, etc.) after their death — probate will determine how these assets are rightfully distributed.

Keep in mind that there is no prerequisite for possessing an estate. That’s to say, even if you aren’t a wealthy individual, you still have an estate that will need to be accounted for after your passing. As long as you have assets, from property to a savings account, you are the owner of an estate.

If a will was prepared, this document may need to be put through probate court to determine whether it is legally viable. Further, the estate’s executor will be responsible for notifying creditors, allowing them the chance to present claims for payment prior to the heirs receiving their own shares. These claims will then need to be paid for through probate court — or if they’re disputed, they’ll be litigated. If any heirs believe that the will is invalid, they also have the option to sue through probate court.

Probate doesn’t need to be a trying experience, no matter which forms you’re experiencing it in. If you’re a resident of the Carlsbad, California area, come to the law office of Paul V. L. Campo for expert probate assistance.

What Kind of Lawyer Handles Probate?

The probate process, specifically, is handled by a probate lawyer — this isn’t necessarily the same as an estate planning attorney, although many estate planning attorneys will also handle probate.

Should I Hire a Probate Attorney?

To determine whether you should hire a probate attorney, there are a few factors you’ll need to take into account.

Before all else, make sure that the probate process will be necessary to distribute the deceased’s estate to heirs. Although this is generally the case (even if it’s only a particular portion of the estate), there are some instances where probate court can be avoided entirely. For instance, if the deceased individual created a trust, it’s entirely possible that probate will be an unnecessary step to take. Even if a trust was not created, it is sometimes still possible to skip probate — it all depends on the extent of estate planning that was already performed, as well as the overall complexity of the estate.

Of course, if you aren’t going to find yourself in probate court, then you probably won’t need a probate lawyer to aid you. However, if even a portion of the estate is going to be subject to probate, it is often a wise idea to get in contact with an experienced California probate attorney.

The probate process can grow even more complicated when any assets it contains require special ongoing handling in some form. For instance, if the deceased individual was a business owner, or if they possessed commercial real estate, going through probate court can quickly become a more complex venture. If it’s necessary for a business entity to be either managed, appraised, or sold, this is a process that a legal professional (such as a probate lawyer) can help with.

If the estate doesn’t contain enough money to pay off the deceased’s debts, then this is another instance where a probate attorney can be an invaluable asset. Before any heirs or beneficiaries attempt to pay off these remaining debts, they should always consult with an attorney first. It is important that they receive legal advice from a probate lawyer.

Even if the aforementioned situations don’t apply in your probate case, it is often still valuable to work with a probate attorney. It is common for probate to quickly devolve into a complicated or confusing experience, which can eat up both the time and finances of those involved. A qualified probate lawyer will be able to make the process considerably more manageable due to their experience and deep understanding of the probate process and how it actually works.

What Is the Difference Between a Probate Lawyer and an Estate Lawyer?

Although a probate lawyer and an estate planning lawyer aren’t synonymous, they often do go hand in hand. In fact, many attorneys who specialize in estate planning will also offer probate services to their clients and vice versa.

To start, an estate planning attorney will be available to aid an individual prior to their death. As the title would imply, these attorneys lend an important hand in “planning” for how the estate will be distributed later along the line. Estate planning lawyers can take on a variety of duties, including drafting wills, creating trusts, deciding upon beneficiaries, and so on. If something needs to be determined prior to the estate being distributed, an estate planning lawyer will be the legal professional you turn to.

On the opposite hand, probate lawyers are involved in the asset distribution process after an individual’s death. Rather than helping to plan for the estate to be distributed to heirs, probate attorneys are the ones directly involved in the distribution, as it occurs. Probate lawyers may also be responsible for contesting a will, filing paperwork in probate court, and other components of the probate process, as necessary.

While estate planning attorneys and probate attorneys take on different duties at different stages of the estate distribution process, they are both necessary players.

Key Deadlines in California Probate Cases

Throughout the entirety of the probate process, those involved will be faced with a number of important deadlines. To stay on top of this timeline, hiring a knowledgeable probate lawyer is generally the best strategy.

Nonetheless, what does the California probate timeline actually look like? What are some of the most important deadlines to remember if you would like the probate process to run as smoothly as possible?

Some of the most important California probate deadlines are:

  • At or before the hearing, the appointment of a personal representative can be contested.
  • If the will has been contested, a response must occur within 30 days of the service of summons.
  • If a petition is filed to revoke probate, then this must occur within 120 days of the will being admitted to probate.
  • Inventory and appraisal must take place within four months of the letters being issued.
  • If a creditor claim is to occur, it must take place within four months of the letters being issued or within 60 days of the notice.

Still, although these are some of the most common deadlines to be aware of, this isn’t a comprehensive look at the probate process. At every step of the way, there will be strict deadlines to be aware of. Without a California probate attorney, it can be highly stressful to stay on top of it all. This is just one reason why hiring a qualified probate attorney is such a valuable decision as you work your way through probate court.

What Are Typical Attorney Fees for Probate?

The cost of a probate attorney is highly dependent upon the individual case and can vary quite substantially. For instance, with probate cases that are more complex or contentious, you can expect to pay a higher fee for a probate lawyer.

If a probate case is simple, it’s likely that an attorney will charge somewhere between $3,500 and $7,000 in total legal fees. However, in instances of a complex estate, it’s not unheard of for this sum to be substantially higher.

A number of other factors have been known to raise the price of hiring a probate attorney. Some of these variables are:

  • There was an issue with the content of the will — for instance, some of its provisions could go against California law.
  • Heirs or other parties have contested the will.
  • There was an error on the deceased’s death certificate.
  • There are numerous heirs, meaning that many parties will need to be notified.
  • Extra court appearances were necessary — this could occur if the will was contested, for example.
  • The client has requested a substantial amount of attention and time.

Trusted Carlsbad Probate Attorney | The Office of Paul V. L. Campo

Don’t allow the probate process to be more difficult than it truly needs to be. If you’re undergoing probate in the Carlsbad, CA area, make sure to get in contact with Paul Campo at your earliest convenience. Our office has extensive experience dealing with probate court, and we pride ourselves in making the difficult process far more manageable for our clients. To receive a consultation, simply get in touch with us through our website today.

What Our Clients Say | Legal Associations


  • Jason

    “Thank you for your services in managing the probate of my mother’s estate. Your professionalism and fairness are much appreciated.”

    Jason
    Probate Client
  • Patty, California Licensed Professional Fiduciary (CLPF)

    “As a client of Paul’s in my capacity as a Professional Fiduciary, he has guided me through the intricacies of trust administration on many occasions.”

    Patty, California Licensed Professional Fiduciary (CLPF)
    Trust Administration Client
  • Jean

    “Mr. Campo did a great job on my estate planning. He was very thorough and made me aware of several things I hadn’t considered. I highly recommend him.”

    Jean
    Estate Planning/Trust Administration Client
  • Carol, Lt. Col. USMC (Ret.)

    “The service I received goes beyond professionalism. It’s all about caring for my wishes and goals and coming up with the ideal estate plan for me.”

    Carol, Lt. Col. USMC (Ret.)
    Estate Planning Client
  • Del

    “I am very grateful to Attorney Paul Campo and his excellent staff for guiding me through the complex probate process.”

    Del
    Probate Client

What Our Clients Say | Legal Associations


  • Jason

    “Thank you for your services in managing the probate of my mother’s estate. Your professionalism and fairness are much appreciated.”

    Jason
    Probate Client
  • Patty, California Licensed Professional Fiduciary (CLPF)

    “As a client of Paul’s in my capacity as a Professional Fiduciary, he has guided me through the intricacies of trust administration on many occasions.”

    Patty, California Licensed Professional Fiduciary (CLPF)
    Trust Administration Client
  • Jean

    “Mr. Campo did a great job on my estate planning. He was very thorough and made me aware of several things I hadn’t considered. I highly recommend him.”

    Jean
    Estate Planning/Trust Administration Client
  • Carol, Lt. Col. USMC (Ret.)

    “The service I received goes beyond professionalism. It’s all about caring for my wishes and goals and coming up with the ideal estate plan for me.”

    Carol, Lt. Col. USMC (Ret.)
    Estate Planning Client
  • Del

    “I am very grateful to Attorney Paul Campo and his excellent staff for guiding me through the complex probate process.”

    Del
    Probate Client

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