If You Die Without a Will, Your Estate Goes to Probate Court

The government has a plan for those who don’t plan – and it’s called probate.  If, at the time of the decedent’s death, the decedent does not have a valid trust and the fair market value of his or her estate exceeds $100,000, then the decedent’s estate is likely to be subject to probate.  Assets titled in a decedent's sole name are known as probate assets. Probate refers to a court-supervised process in which:

  • Estate assets are located and valued
  • Creditors are identified and paid
  • Income and estate tax returns are filed
  • Assets are distributed to the beneficiaries

If you are appointed as the executor of a decedent’s will — known in California as the personal representative — you are responsible for managing and completing these tasks. The experienced lawyers at Roberts & Associates can counsel you in the effective discharge of your probate duties, helping reduce your stress and facilitate the cumbersome probate process.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm