When a person passes away with a valid will, it must be submitted to probate court in California. This process formally opens estate administration and involves the appointment of the personal representative named in the will.
This formal process involves numerous steps in order for the personal representative to gather all of the assets of the estate, notify creditors of the existence of the estate, pay down any debts and creditors from assets and then distribute any remaining assets to beneficiaries.
A will must be proven in order to stand up in court.
A will may be proven through a new sworn statement signed by a witness, the live testimony of a witness, or by submitting a self-proving affidavit. A self-proving affidavit is an official statement signed by the creator of the will and attached to it, and this typically includes the names of the creator of the will and witnesses and a statement that the witnesses believe the creator and signer of the will was of sound mind and under no undue influence or no constraint at the time.
In order to best protect your estate planning wishes through a California will, it is valuable to work with a Pasadena estate planning attorney to document all of your concerns, named guardians for your minor children and determine the asset distribution for your estate. If you are concerned about streamlining the probate process by using trusts or other estate planning tools, contact our Pasadena lawyers today.