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How long should a California probate take?

A lot of people who google the question "how long should a California probate take" probably are either: 1) contemplating hiring a lawyer who says it will take a year or more; or 2) in the midst of a probate with a lawyer who is taking a year or more. I have personally completed over 1,000 California probate cases and they should usually be done within a year. There are only a few reasons probate should go longer than about 8-9 months in fact. Those reasons are: 1) Bad Court Dates- The fact is some courts are overly busy and you can get court dates 2-3 months out. You need at least two court dates during probate plus a four month probate period. So you can get up toward a year if you get bad court dates. 2) Creditors- The one year mark is considered the hard line for creditors
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How to Hold Title to Real Estate

I have been asked the questions many times how should people hold title to real estate in California. Let's talk about the options. First and foremost, for anybody that owns real estate in California, the best method is in a California revocable living trust. The other options, below, are a distant second place.  Why is that?  The main reason is that trust ownership avoids probate after death and it also avoids the need for a conservatorship if incapacity happens during life. It's really that simple.  Probate and conservatorships are extremely expensive and should pretty much always be avoided.  So owning a property in a revocable living trust is the best. However, owning property in a trust is not the only method and there is one primary reason everybody does not ha
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Homelight.com Website Review

I recently became acquainted with HomeLight.com. This website helps consumers find experienced Realtors to help them with their home sale among other features. It's a really robust site and I encourage my readers to check it out! It has extensive information about the probate process and helping you find a probate experienced Realtor. This is a great resource for a person who is selling a house in an area and you haven't received any referrals. Homelight.com screens the Realtors to find the best of the best and, in particular, those with probate experience.  Here's the probate page: https://www.homelight.com/probate-real-estate Another feature I really like is the appraisal estimator. This aggregates multiple sites, like Zillow, to give you a broad range of value. Here's that feature:
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Where is home for this probate?

I was recently contacted by a potential client who lived in California. They had lost a loved one and wanted to know about probating their loved one's will. That all sounds simple so far but wait.... Like many their loved one had set up a will and trust in the US and put some, but not all, of their assets into the trust. This is a common problem so please heed this public service message: FUND YOUR TRUST WHILE YOU ARE ALIVE! Their loved one further complicated the situation by moving to another state in the union and then moving to a foreign country which is where they resided at death. Can a California probate attorney help? Wellllllll, it's complicated. Maybe. Two different thoughts came to me:
  1. Full probate, or
  2. Heggstad petition.
The full probate op
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