PROBATE INFORMATION CENTER:

Law Offices of Joseph A. Roman, Palm Springs Estate Planning and Probate Attorney

Legal services in estate planning, wills, and trusts always require careful thought and informed decision-making. For Native Americans, estate planning poses special and unique challenges.

The Law Offices of Joseph A. Roman help clients in the areas of:

Wills
Trusts
Estate planning
Probate administration
Advanced health care directives
Living wills
Powers of attorney
American Indian Probate Reform Act of 2004
California Domestic Partnership Agreements (cohabitation agreements)
And other matters

At the Law Offices of Joseph A. Roman, we understand the American Indian Probate Reform Act of 2004 and how this complex series of statutes affects Native Americans, their families, and their heirs.

To arrange for a consultation with estate planning lawyer Joseph A. Roman, call us at 760-323-2090 or contact us online.

Serving clients in Palm Springs, California, the Coachella Valley, and Palm Desert, Indian Wells, and surrounding areas in Riverside County

Probate and Estate Administration - An Overview

Administration of a decedent's estate involves, among other things, probating the estate, collection of the decedent's assets, calculation and payment of estate taxes, and the distribution of remaining assets. An attorney who is competent and experienced in probate and estate administration can facilitate this often difficult process in a timely and effective manner. If you need help in the administration of an estate, call an attorney today.

Probating the Estate

An estate is the total property owned by a deceased individual (the decedent) prior to the distribution of that property in accordance with the terms of a will, or, when there is no will, by the laws of inheritance in the state where the decedent lived. Probate is the court procedure by which:

Trusts
Estate planning
Probate administration
Advanced health care directives
Living wills
Powers of attorney

Before the property can be distributed, it is generally necessary to go through probate, or, in the case of smaller estates, a less formal procedure under the general supervision of the probate court.

Preserving Estate Assets

An important but sometimes neglected responsibility in administering an estate is to look for opportunities to preserve assets for distribution. Reducing estate taxes is one way that an estate can retain more of its wealth for the decedent's heirs. Some of the ways to accomplish this are:

Consider whether administration expenses and casualty losses should be
reported on the estate tax return or on the estate's income tax return.

Consider whether there are income tax savings opportunities on the decedent's
final return (such as whether or not a joint income tax return should be filed with the
surviving spouse).

Consider whether assets should be valued at the date of the decedent's death
or six months later (or, if assets have been distributed prior to six months after the
decedent's death, the date of the disposition of the assets).

Conclusion

Guiding an estate through the probate process and effectively administering that estate so that every opportunity for preserving value for distribution requires a keen understanding of the probate and tax laws. If you need help in administering an estate, contact an attorney experienced in probate and estate administration to ensure that the most effective administration of the estate.

A will contest can result in a significant delay in the distribution of a loved one's assets. Also, because the costs of will contest are paid out from the estate, the available funds can be significantly depleted. If you are concerned that a will may be subject to a will contest, contact an experienced probate and estate administration attorney right away.

Frequently Asked Questions about Probate and Estate Administration

Q: What is the purpose of the probate procedure?

A: The probate procedure is the court procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid. Creditors of the estate have the opportunity to file claims against the estate and receive payment of those claims. After the administration fees and creditor claims are paid, the assets of the estate are distributed.

Q: What are methods for preserving assets of the probate estate?

A: There are many ways to preserve probate estate assets. In association with an attorney and tax advisor, you can:

Determine whether administration expenses and casualty losses should
be reported on the estate tax return or on the estate's income tax return.

Consider whether there are income tax savings opportunities on the
decedent's final return (such as whether or not a joint return should be filed
with the surviving spouse).

Consider whether assets should be valued at the date of the decedent's
death or six months later (or, if the assets have been distributed prior to six
months after the decedent's death, the date of the disposition of the assets).

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

 

 

 




2825 TAHQUITZ CANYON WAY - SUITE D1 - PALM SPRINGS, CA 92262-6908
PHONE: (760) 323-2090 - FAX: (760) 323-2816

Home | Firm Overview | Practice Overview | Attorney Profile  | Resource Links  | FAQs: Real Estate  | Contact Us
© 2006 The Law Offices of Joseph A. Roman. - All Rights Reserved  | Disclaimer