Probate Attorneys Dedicated to your rights

If you are dealing with a probate matter, you need a team of attorneys who understand the ins and outs of probate law. Work with the Law Office of Emily J. Buchbinder today!

Santa Cruz Probate Lawyers

Probate is the court process for administering a person’s estate after their death. When individuals die without any type of estate planning or with a will only, probate is required to transfer their property and assets to their heirs and beneficiaries. This process will be administered by the executor named in the will or a personal representative appointed by the court. The executor or personal representative will be tasked with many duties and will be responsible for seeing that the terms of the will and the legal requirements of the probate process are carried out. 

At the Law Office of Emily J. Buchbinder, we are experienced probate attorneys who understand the legal requirements of this complex proceeding. We provide experienced and effective guidance, advice, and representation to executors and personal representatives throughout the probate process. Attorney Amy. R. Henderson has extensive experience with probate, having spent 10 years as a judicial research lawyer for the Santa Cruz County Superior Court. Amy reviewed the paperwork filed in all probate matters, researched the issues and law, made recommendations to the judges about how they should rule, and attended all probate hearings. 

How We Can Help

If you have been appointed as the executor or personal representative of a family member’s estate, you may be feeling confused or overwhelmed by this responsibility. That is understandable, especially if you have little or no experience in probate administration. At the Law Office of Emily J. Buchbinder, we are here to provide the guidance you need to successfully complete the process. We put decades of shared probate experience on your side along with diligence, attentiveness, and compassionate support. 

Probate in California

When a person dies in California, his or her heirs cannot just go to the bank or recorder’s office to prove their right to inherit. A family member or friend will need to file a petition in court for probate. Usually, a child of the decedent files the petition asking to be appointed as the personal representative to administer the estate. If a will exists in which an executor has been named, he or she may be appointed by the court for this purpose. 

The personal representative will need to gather all of the decedent’s assets, notify potential creditors, and report the value of each asset as of the date of death to the court. The court-appointed personal representative or executor is prohibited from distributing assets to the beneficiaries without first obtaining a court order. Executors and personal representatives are under a fiduciary duty to the heirs and beneficiaries; this means that they are legally obligated to act in the best interests of these individuals and entities. 

The probate process typically takes six to 12 months to complete. This may be extended if issues exist with titles or family members make challenges in court. Court filing fees are generally around $1,000. Additionally, the personal representative and attorneys who assist in the process are entitled to compensation. The compensation is a percentage of the estate’s value as outlined in the probate code. 

Connect with the Law Office of Emily J. Buchbinder via our contact form or by calling (831) 400-3496 to schedule a confidential consultation with a Santa Cruz probate attorney today. 

What Sets us apart?

The Law Office of Emily J. Buchbinder Difference
  • Customized Legal Strategies
    Just like no two individuals are the same, our team believes that no two cases are the same. We work with you to ensure your legal strategy is crafted to address your unique circumstances.
  • Attentive & Skilled Representation
    We understand that this is a difficult topic to think of, so our team of dedicated legal advocates compassionately works with you and your family in order to ensure you are in control of your future.
  • Certified Legal Specialist
    Emily Buchbinder, our founding attorney, is a certified legal specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law. We have the tools, knowledge, and resources to help with your legal needs.

We Are Here to Help

Our compassionate and experienced team of professionals is standing by to assist you with your needs. Contact us today!

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