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Experienced Lawyers Knowledgeable about the Probate Code in California

Learning about California Probate Code

While the term probate typically refers to the process of transferring property and assets from a deceased individual to his or her beneficiaries or heirs, the laws in California known as probate code actually regulate all aspects of estate planning and distribution. When you are preparing your estate, it is important to consult an experienced attorney who understands all aspects of the probate code and can use the laws to your advantage.

What is regulated under the laws?

California Probate Code is exhaustive; with over 21,000 sections, it covers all details surrounding estate planning, wills, trusts and probate. The following are the essential elements:

  • Guardianship, conservatorship and other protective proceedings (Division 4) — These sections deal with the requirements for establishing guardianship over minor (under age 18) children with absent parents, personal and financial conservatorships over incapacitated individuals and arrangements with similar purposes. In particular, conservatorships may involve establishing powers of attorney (Division 4.5) and making advance healthcare decisions (Division 4.7) regarding resuscitation and life support.
  • Nonprobate transfers (Division 5) — These sections describe how to avoid the probate process when transferring ownership of estates. The common mechanisms lawyers use to circumvent probate are establishing trusts, arranging joint ownership of particular assets, accounts and property, and naming beneficiaries in a life insurance policy or retirement account.
  • Wills and intestate succession (Division 6) — These sections address how to execute wills and how to distribute estates when no will exists.
  • Administration of estates of decedents (Division 7) — These sections cover the legal requirements and phases of the entire probate process. This is the largest division of California Probate Code.
  • Disposition of estate without administration (Division 8) — These sections identify two circumstances in which summary probate — an abbreviated probate process — may be employed in place of traditional probate. Summary probate is possible when the estate is small (under $100,000.00 in value) or when the deceased individual was married and the property is transferring to the surviving spouse.
  • Trust law (Division 9) — These sections identify all the different types of trusts, the requirements, financial regulations and benefits of each.
  • Construction of wills, trusts and other instruments (Division 11) — These sections regulate the creation of estate-planning documents and contracts such as wills and trusts. Attorneys must pay special attention to this area of probate code when assisting clients, so that their estate plan will stand up to any dispute or concern.

Talk to a knowledgeable lawyer about your estate plan today

At Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC, our lawyers are qualified to handle any matter that involves Probate Code in California. If you have questions about our capabilities or services, call our law firm today at 707-552-3630 or contact us online.

For our clients’ convenience, Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC maintains offices in Fairfield, Vallejo and St. Helena, California, and we are easily accessible throughout Contra Costa, Napa and Solano Counties. Furthermore, our attorneys are glad to schedule appointments at your availability — even outside normal workday hours. So that we may better communicate with our diverse client base, members of our staff speak Spanish, Tagalog and Ilocano.

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