When Do You Need an Orange County Probate Litigation Attorney?
Probate is the legal process by which an individual’s legal and financial affairs are wound up after their death. Probated estates do not always yield lawsuits, but if there is any chance that one may arise, such as a challenge to the decedent’s will or trust, it’s advisable that you contact an Orange County probate litigation attorney.
In Orange County, probate administration is handled by the Superior Court of Orange County. The appointment of an executor, executrix, or personal representative of the estate, obtaining letters testamentary, preparing an inventory and appraisal of the estate, paying creditors and costs of administration, and final distribution of assets are overseen by a judge.
The named executor in the will must file a petition with the court along with the last will and testament, requesting that they be appointed to administer the decedent’s estate. Prior to appointment, notice of the petition is published in local Orange County newspapers, and all heirs and relatives, and beneficiaries are notified of the hearing date. Typically, contests to the will or objections to the petition must be filed on or before the hearing date. Furthermore, the proper procedure must be followed in order for the objection to be recognized by the court. Will contests can be initiated by individuals regardless if they were named in the will, but they must have valid standing (i.e. if you were disinherited from the will, but would have received inheritance if no will existed) and reason for contesting the will. Grounds for contesting a will include fraud, duress, mistake, lack of mental capacity of the testator at the time the will or trust was signed, undue influence or errors made while preparing the will such as by not following the required formalities of California Probate Law requiring strict compliance as to execution and witnessing of the will.
Because probate matters vary widely in their specifics, it’s best to choose an attorney who has substantial experience with probate litigation. Gregory W. Cabo has been a practicing Orange County probate litigation lawyer for over a decade and can advise you a number of probate matters as well as assert your best interests in court, if necessary. Gregory will work closely with you so you can assess your options, anticipate your legal costs and attorney fees and make informed decisions.
For a free phone consultation with Gregory W. Cabo, Orange County probate litigation attorney, call (714) 771-2227.