Probate Law


The main goal in any law firm practicing probate is to expedite probate administration, and to distribute the assets of a deceased person to his o her heirs at law.    Admission of a will in probate defines who will get the assets of the decedent supervised by the probate court.   Some of the assets of the decedent do not go through probate, such as those that have beneficiaries designation.


The lack of a beneficiary designation in an asset titled in the name of the decedent generally means that the asset will go though probate and its distribution will be court supervised by a probate judge.  If you name a beneficiary on your account, that asset does not go through probate administration. Instead, the asset will be distributed directly to the person named as a beneficiary.   Beneficiary accounts pass by contract law but there are some rules in probate laws that apply to them when there are certain types of probate disputes.

Reasons Why Probate laws are Important:

Probate Law allows for a civilized distribution of the assets.   Some countries call their probate law the law of succession.   In California, the probate law is codified in the Probate Code.   If you have a society that does not have probate laws, no one will know what to do with the assets of a decedent when he or she dies.    In civil code countries, there is sometimes a forced succession or forced distribution of assets.  Under California Probate Law, we do not have a forced distribution, but we do have a default set of laws that say who is entitled as an heir at law to the assets of the decedent, where there is no will, or where the will is later found to be invalid.

What happens if you don’t probate a property in the name of the decedent?

If you fail to probate the property which is solely in the name of the decedent, you cannot get title insurance and sell the property.  More importantly, the county assessor is notified of the change in ownership, so if you delay, and you are a child, you will lose the parent-child exclusion from reassessment of property taxes.

Call Mina Sirkin, Probate Law attorney in Los Angeles to question if a particular probate law would be applicable to your situation.  In Los Angeles county, call Probate Law Attorney, Mina Sirkin at 818.340.4479 or email us for a free probate consultation at