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Probate and Trust Administration Attorneys Serving Oakland, California and the East Bay

When a person who has a will dies and the estate is greater than $150,000, probate may be necessary. Estates that are held in living trusts, and estates consisting of joint tenancy assets or pay-on-death accounts, are not subject to probate. The first step is to determine if a probate is necessary.

Our Northern California probate and trust administration lawyers can assist and advise the executor (or personal representative) in all aspects of the probate and trust administration process. Contact us online or call our Oakland office at (510) 452-2133 to schedule a consultation.

Is Probate Necessary?

If a probate is necessary to administer a decedent’s estate, the process typically begins by submitting the will and seeking appointment of the person designated in the will as the estate's executor. If there is no will, then a petition is filed to request the appointment of an administrator.

The administrator and the executor are sometimes referred to as the personal representative. The personal representative's duties are to collect the assets, file an inventory, provide notice to creditors, pay bills and taxes and, when these tasks are accomplished, to ask the court for permission to close the estate.

Trust Administration Lawyers Providing Timely and Efficient Services

Our trust administration lawyers at Horton, West & Bowman LLP represent trustees and advise them about managing and settling trusts. Often, a surviving spouse may neglect to consult with a trust lawyer about administering the trust or transferring assets to the trust when one spouse has died. A successor trustee needs legal guidance to administer a trust, to make sure expenses and claims are paid as required by law, assets are valued correctly, required accountings and notices are given to beneficiaries and public agencies, property is added to the trust as appropriate, and the trust property is allocated and administered in new trusts, or distributed to beneficiaries, or both. If the trust is not properly administered, beneficiaries of the trust may file a petition in probate court seeking removal of a trustee, compelling the trustee to provide an accounting, or asking the court to surcharge the trustee for breaches of trust. Trustees should consult with counsel to protect themselves, and the trust they are administering, from costly litigation. In our East Bay Area, California offices, we can advise clients on all trust administration and compliance matters.

Contact an Experienced Oakland Estate, Trust and Probate Law Firm

To schedule a meeting with our estate, trust and probate law firm, please fill out our secure online form or call (510) 452-2133 today. Horton, West & Bowman LLP serves clients in Oakland, and throughout the East Bay and Northern California, including Alameda, San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and Sonoma counties.