Search for the Right Probate Attorney in Los Angeles

Are you in search of a great probate attorney in Los Angeles?   Determining if you are interviewing the right probate lawyer means that you must meet and discuss your needs personally, to understand the scope of the representation by the probate attorney.   Trust lawyers and estate lawyers come with different skills, patience, experience, and energy.  You must ask yourself which of the above qualities you value the most in your probate counsel, to move forward.

For example, disputes about a will require litigation skills, energy and experience.  When someone passes away, there is a period of time when relatives do not get along.  It is very common during this period that people accuse each other of wrongdoing with respect to the decedent.   Old emotions about a sibling come out during grieving.   An experienced attorney can help you avoid some of the unnecessary fighting, and be there when you need a strong presence in probate court.

Just because there is a will, does not mean that all assets are going to go to probate.   Assets that pass by contract, such as life insurance, or by beneficiary designation, normally do not end up in the probate court.   There are times, however, that those assets will be subject to litigation, which can result in a freeze of those assets and their disposition by a probate judge.

Emotional distress of grieving can get mixed up with actual probate disputes.  Ask for competent probate service to avoid the stressful parts of probate and estate law.   One of the things you should do if a relative has passed away, is to write your own will and trust to make sure your estate does not go through probate.   Resolve family conflicts before death for best results. 

Because many conflicts among children revolve around gifts and loans, when it comes to gifts to children, and loans to your family members, leave very specific instructions and promissory notes in your safe for your trustee.   Pay attention not just to the promissory note, but to the deed of trust or the security document which secures the note.   Great estate planning lawyers, plan for your gifts and loans with specific documentation.   You should also get income tax advice about the results of cancelling a child’s loans, to avoid bad results for your kids.

Debt planning and judgment planning in probate is a big part of an attorney’s job.  If you have an outstanding judgment, be sure to tell you probate attorney about it, so that a plan can be created regarding that judgment.   You should maintain all documentation regarding any lawsuit that resulted in a judgment.   Creditor claims can be objected to by the executor, but your executor must have documents and evidence in the event of a creditor law suit. Checking probate notes is important if you are involved in probate.

By: Mina N. Sirkin, Probate Attorney in Los Angeles County Ca who regularly writes about California Probate issues and estate planning.  Call Estate and Probate Attorneys at Sirkin Law Group, P.C. at 818.340.4479 or email us here.