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Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

Demystifying Sacramento County Probate

November 12, 2010

For many people, Sacramento County Probate is extremely confusing. Not only is it confusing, but it’s time consuming, eerily public and a very costly way to have to sort through your loved ones affairs when they are gone.

That’s why I want to take a few minutes today to walk you through the process so you know what to expect if you are currently dealing with the Sacramento County probate court.

Basically when a person passes away, the Superior Court of the County will finish off the financial proceedings of his or her estate. This process can last anywhere between nine months to many tedious years.

The executor (who hopefully was appointed in the deceased’s will if he or she had one) will generally file with the Superior Court to let them know who will be handling the deceased’s financial matters. If there is no executor appointed, someone can step forward (usually a family member) to be appointed the administrator by the Superior Court. After approval of the appointment by the Court, which includes publication in the paper and notice to all the heirs of the deceased in letting them know of future proceedings set to take place.

In every proceeding you have advantages as well as disadvantages. One advantage of Sacramento County probate is that a judge is readily available to handle disputes among family members. As you can imagine, this is common after the passing of a loved one, especially if someone does not agree with the provisions set forth in the deceased person’s will or if there was no will to begin with.

For most people, the disadvantages of Sacramento County probate typically outweigh the benefits. As I mentioned earlier, the process could take years, which is a problem for families desperately waiting on money or assets to get by. It’s also expensive, as lawyers are required through the entire process and will be paid their full fees out of the proceeds of the estate. Finally, its public, which means every scam artist and busy body in town will know exactly what your loved one has (and it’s value!) and who is getting what now that they’ve passed.

That’s why it’s extremely important for families to hire a Sacramento County probate attorney who understands the sensitive nature of such situations and also knows how to get the financial and legal closure a family needs during this difficult time. If you’re not sure where to start in finding a compassionate, yet experienced Sacramento County probate attorney, I invite you to mention this article and come in for a consultation free of charge (normally $750). However, this offer is limited to the first 10 responders so call (916) 241-9661 to reserve your space today.

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Everything was so thoroughly explained and well documented that we never left her office with unanswered questions or felt as though we were forced into decisions on topics which we didn't fully understand. Her entire approach is a refreshing and welcome change from estate planning as usual.

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