Call for a FREE Consultation

Probate Lawyer

Probate Lawyer

probate lawyer in Palmdale, estate planning attorney, Palmdale CAIf your loved one recently passed away, you may be feeling overwhelmed. A knowledgeable probate lawyer can help. Although nothing can bring your loved one back to you, some of your stress can be shouldered by the skilled attorneys at Herbert Law Office. We have helped hundreds of families manage the estate administration process after the death of a loved one. Call us today at (661) 273-9007.

Areas of Probate We Handle

The probate process can be complex. It often requires knowledge of the law and interaction with attorneys and other court personnel. It’s best to work with a probate lawyer who can help. Herbert Law Office can guide you through the probate process and help with the following tasks:

  • Processing an estate
  • Will disputes
  • Accounting of an estate
  • Dispersing trusts and challenging distribution
  • Probate court hearings

Although these matters happen every day, they can still be stressful. You should not have to deal with this situation alone. Instead, work with a probate lawyer who is familiar with the law and will guide you through the process.

What Is Probate?

Probate is a formal court process. Once someone dies, whether they have a will or not, you typically have to open an estate with the probate court. Then, the court will name an executor or administrator who will identify the estate’s assets, pay its debts, and distribute its remaining property to heirs. The estate must also comply with a series of strict rules and procedures throughout the probate process.

Without help from an experienced probate lawyer, many families struggle to understand and follow the probate court’s rules and procedures. At Herbert Law Office, we guide our clients through probate matters. We also help litigate and resolve estate disputes.

What Is the Executor of an Estate?

probate lawyer, estate planning attorney, Palmdale CAWhen a person passes away, their estate must be itemized and distributed. Debts and assets must be accounted for and managed. The person or organization that does that is called an “executor.” If an executor is not named in a will, the probate court may choose an executor for an estate.

An executor may be given independent administrative powers, or they may be required to seek court approval prior to distributions of any assets. When a will exists with very specific instructions about assets, executors are more likely to be able to handle the estate on their own. However, if an estate is complex or there are challenges to distribution of assets, the executor may have more oversight from the court.

If your loved one passed away and you are unsure about their executor, contact a probate lawyer right away. You may need to submit the issue to a court or challenge a named executor through the probate process. A skilled probate lawyer can guide you through the process and help you understand your legal options.

An Executor Has a Fiduciary Duty

The executor of an estate has a fiduciary duty to act in good faith when administering an estate. This means that they act fairly and honestly according to the law. Although an executor may not know the law, they are expected to comply with all state and federal laws. This is why it’s important to work with a probate lawyer when administering an estate. If an executor fails to act in good faith and according to the law, they may be held financially responsible for any problems that arise.

Determining the Validity of a Will Through Probate

The probate court will be concerned with the validity of the will. This will be one of the first steps in the probate process. Once a will is obtained, it will be reviewed for the following:

  • Signature – A will should include a sworn and signed statement by the person writing it as well as at least one witness.
  • Notarization – Many wills have a “self-proving affidavit” in the form of a notarized statement validating the will.
  • Witness – If there are no other signatures on the will except the person who wrote it, then a person may make a sworn statement in court regarding the validity of the will.

What Happens During the Probate Process?

The probate process can be complex. It often takes months or more than a year to complete. The probate process involves a probate court, which will require several hearings. These may take place in person in a courtroom or via telephone. A probate lawyer can represent you through this process and appear on your behalf.

One of the first tasks that an executor must do is take control of or “marshal” the assets of the estate. This means the executor must establish the care of any houses, vehicles, and other property that is part of the estate. Insurance must be kept up to date and everything must be protected from damage or theft.

An executor must also take inventory of the estate. This can be daunting for larger estates, especially if the executor was not very close with the person who died. If you have been tasked with taking inventory of an estate, a probate lawyer can help you. There are organizations that specialize in these tasks, and estates often pay for the necessary probate tasks to be completed.

An executor must also arrange for the distribution of an estate. This can be difficult of some beneficiaries are difficult to find or if someone is challenging the estate. It’s best to work with an experienced probate lawyer to ensure the executor carries out all the probate process tasks.

Creditor Rights to an Estate

Another task of the executor is to manage debts that may endure past the death of a person. A will may address debts, or state law may specify which ones are to be paid first. If an estate does not have sufficient funds to cover all debts, the executor must itemize which debts are to be paid first according to the law.

Some creditors do have rights to estate funds prior to them being distributed to beneficiaries. Most creditors have four months after the death of a person to make a claim on the estate. If a creditor does not file a claim within the proper period of time, they may forfeit their rights to payment from the estate.

Both executors and creditors should work with a probate lawyer to make sure estate funds are properly distributed. If there are questions about how creditors are to be paid or where funds should be moved from, an attorney can help.

Helping Your Family Avoid Probate

For many families, the probate process is overly burdensome, time-intensive, and expensive. Thankfully, not all estates require extensive probate proceedings.

For example, small estates can use a simplified, streamlined probate system. Other estates can avoid or minimize the need for probate by using trusts, joint tenancy, and other estate planning options.

If you would like to avoid probate, contact a probate lawyer at Herbert Law Office for more information. We can help you understand the scope of your estate, identify and explain your options, and guide you through the entire estate planning process.

Schedule an Appointment With a Probate Lawyer

If you have questions about probate and your loved one’s estate, schedule a free, no-risk consultation with a probate lawyer at Herbert Law Office today. Located in Palmdale, CA, we assist clients with their comprehensive estate planning and administration needs. Contact us to learn more about our legal services and your estate options.

Request a
Free Consultation

What Our Clients Say

  • Very helpful, easy to understand. Felt very comfortable.

    ~ Judy W, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • (Marc) was very helpful and professional … patient answering all of our questions with cogent explanations.

    ~ Terry and Nancy L, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • Very pleasant and staff extremely helpful … open and honest.

    ~ Steve F, Quartz Hill

    unum disability claims
  • Excellent. Pleasant and well-informed …you educated us.

    ~ Raymond and Lori G, Santa Clarita

    unum disability claims
  • Explained everything well. Always available when our schedule changed. Easy to work with.

    ~ Mark and Suzanne F, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • Excellent. Easy process.

    ~ Michael and Susan R, Quartz Hill

    unum disability claims
  • Very efficient … (we appreciate) your attention to detail, ability to explain documents in “plain” English, good response time.

    ~ Thomas and Bonnie G, Tehachapi

    unum disability claims
  • We just kept putting it off. Thank you for your patience … (and) one-on-one personal contact.

    ~ Rex and Denise H, Acton

    unum disability claims
  • Very pleasant, patient and accommodating. Great listener … (the) Antelope Valley community should be proud of having such a caring and wonderful person like you, […]

    ~ Hovsep M and Anna A, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • Excellent. Very professional, great attention to detail, seemed to really care … (and) answered all questions.

    ~ Daniel and Linda L, Ridgecrest

    unum disability claims
  • Personable, knowledgeable, explains well. Very happy with the courtesy and expertise in handling our Trust.

    ~ Anthony and Susan C, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • It was an easy experience for a hard thing to do. (Marc is) very easy to speak with and made everything easier to understand. We […]

    ~ Bruce and Christina Z, Tehachapi

    unum disability claims
  • (You) were always following up to make sure we had all we needed. Great service … provided a lot of information.

    ~ Carlos and Claudia O, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • Excellent. Very informative …friendly … (and) explained things clearly.

    ~ Robert and Joan W, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • Marc was great at understanding our needs and he and his staff are so responsive in providing what we need, how we need it … […]

    ~ James and Linda J, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • (We appreciate your) thoughtfulness, friendliness and fairness to walk us through the process and helping set up a Special Needs Trust

    ~ Dale and Meryl Z, Tehachapi

    unum disability claims
  • Friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We enjoyed working with Marc. He took time to explain and answer all and any questions … (You) did not rush […]

    ~ Keith and Susan I, Acton

    unum disability claims
  • Marc took his time explaining everything thoroughly to us and answered the many questions we asked. We have busy conflicting schedules, so at times we […]

    ~ Sharron K and Bonnie M, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • Very professional staff … (Marc’s) first hand knowledge of the law (was very important)

    ~ Janet B, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • Excellent learning experience … (we appreciate your) expertise in the field.

    ~ Danny and Diane T, Ridgecrest

    unum disability claims
  • (My experience) was quite relaxing and worry-free … (Marc is) honest and answered any and all questions that I had leaving me with good feeling […]

    ~ James G, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • Excellent. Very professional and on the other hand very open, which made covering sensitive subjects a lot easier. (Marc is) easy to talk to.

    ~ Wilfred and Julia L, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • (Marc) was very patient with (me) … (and) anyone with assets and heirs (would benefit from his services).

    ~ Marcy W, Leona Valley

    unum disability claims
  • It is not fun to plan for one’s death, but you helped us be comfortable. You were very considerate to our needs, especially when it […]

    ~ John and Diane H, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • You and your staff were professional, helpful and patient … We took a long time getting everything together and you helped us and were patient […]

    ~ Jerry and Gloria V, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • Excellent. Very knowledgeable and helpful 🙂 … Your office was very helpful and persistent in keeping in contact with us during a very chaotic year. […]

    ~ Christopher and Naomi E, Temecula

    unum disability claims
  • We were in good hands with Marc’s expertise through every step. He was thorough. We didn’t feel rushed. We know that you are working for […]

    ~ Randy and Rebecca T, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • It was a well-paced comfortable experience

    ~ Richard and Clara H, Quartz Hill

    unum disability claims
  • Excellent. Professional and caring … (I liked) being able to contact you to answer my questions.

    ~ Dwight and Paula C, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • It was a pleasant and easy experience working with Marc …. Everyone who believes they and their family will “be alright” without a will and/or […]

    ~ Don and Michelle W, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • Marc is friendly and easy to talk to, very helpful. Marc explained everything clearly (and) patiently answered questions.

    ~ Evelyn G, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • Everyone is so patient with us and our situation. You’re easy to talk to and share personal stories that help (us) think through (our) own […]

    ~ Michael and Sharon W, Tehachapi

    unum disability claims
  • Excellent. Easy, efficient and thorough. (Marc) understood our goals, (his) explanations were easily understood (and he) always returned our calls. Thank you for your help.

    ~ Richard and Brenda M, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • The estate planning process was about as easy as a complex process could be. We liked the personal connection we felt with you and the […]

    ~ Craig and Nancy M, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • Attorney Herbert, you explained every detail that I couldn’t understand and (were) very professional (and) patient.

    ~ Donald and Karen B, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • You and your office personnel were very friendly and professional. You provided answers and we appreciated the advice you provided. You were organized and were […]

    ~ Robert and Nilsa P, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • Your patience and ability to explain the legal processes in layman terminology was important to me. You are good at putting clients at ease, which […]

    ~ Harry S, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • Great. Marc always tried to work with our schedules (and) promptly returned our calls. (We liked) your patience in all our many questions.

    ~ Larry and Lane R, Acton

    unum disability claims
  • (Our experience was) very pleasant … (we appreciate) your availability.

    ~ Cliff and Debbie B, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • We felt an immediate comfortable bond … I had interviewed 7 attorneys before you. You were always kind and respectful and explained everything so I […]

    ~ Alan and Susan S, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • Excellent. You also handled my Mom’s Trust … Marc is willing to take the time to talk with me. Thank you.

    ~ James and Johanna M, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • Marc is very professional and quick … (with) friendliness (and) good atmosphere.

    ~ Michael and Cheryl Y, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • Marc went above and beyond to ensure we understood every detail … We appreciated his patience and knowledge as well as being flexible with our […]

    ~ Russ and Lucy T, Acton

    unum disability claims
  • Just a sincere note of thanks to you for the extended journey toward my estate plan and for all your guidance and help … The […]

    ~ Carolyn H, Quartz Hill

    unum disability claims
  • The whole process was a great experience. The outcome was excellent.

    ~ Michael and Cynthia M, North Edwards

    unum disability claims
  • Excellent. You did a fantastic job getting back to us in a timely manner even through we were pretty slow on our end … My […]

    ~ Robert and Gina S, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • Thank you for being so patient and clarifying everything on my estate plan

    ~ Kathy H, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • I want to thank you for everything you did to help me. I will gladly recommend you to anyone.

    ~ Sue S, Quartz Hill

    unum disability claims
  • We appreciate your integrity and honesty. I will recommend you to all my friends.

    ~ Paul and Cheryl S, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • I just wanted to say thank you for all you have done. I will highly recommend your legal

    services to anyone looking for a great […]

    ~ Kelly C, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • Words cannot express how grateful I am to you.

    ~ Kim D, Acton

    unum disability claims
  • Thank you so much.

    ~ Mike R, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • We th good counsel.

    ~ John and Julie K, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • Thank you so much. I really appreciate your help.

    ~ Amy K, Quartz Hill

    unum disability claims
  • Just want to say thank you for all of your help and your time. May God bless you.

    ~ Scott D, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Oh, and thank you again!

    ~ Chris B, Quartz Hill

    unum disability claims
  • What else can I say? Thank you big time. We are so appreciative. You deserve our sincere gratitude!

    ~ Mark and Pam B, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • Thank you so much for all of your help.

    ~ Linda W, Palmdale

    unum disability claims
  • Remembering you with gratitude. Sincere thanks from the entire family.

    ~ Charles and Danielle S, Lancaster

    unum disability claims
  • Thank you for all of your good work. You’re a great man, and I’ll definitely send you all of my

    referrals.

    ~ Jim L, Quartz Hill

    unum disability claims
  • Marc was very thorough and professional while explaining the legal issues in an easy to understand method. We felt at ease with the entire process […]

    ~ Don and Yvonne (Rosamond)

    unum disability claims
unum claims New York ERISA Attorney

Areas Served :

Proudly serving Palmdale, CA and the surrounding areas.