What Probate Services Does the Law Office of Mark Gullotta Provide?
If you have lost a loved one and are the named executor of the Will, you may be struggling right now to deal with your grief while starting the probate process. Perhaps your loved one did not leave a Will or other estate planning documents. You may need to submit a petition to the court to be named executor of the estate. Whether the decedent died with a Will or without, the process of probate must be completed—except under certain exceptions. Probate can be a lengthy, complex process that few of us are equipped to deal with on our own, and will need a Daly City probate attorney.
Probate requires that a Will be “proved” in a court of law—accepted as a valid public document that accurately reflects the last wishes of the decedent. When no Will or other estate planning document exists, the probate court will settle the estate according to California probate laws. All creditor claims and taxes owed must be settled, then the remaining assets can be distributed according to the wishes of the decedent or probate law. When you consider the following tasks that can be facilitated with a Daly City probate attorney, you will clearly see the wisdom of hiring attorney Mark Gullotta. These tasks include:
- Locating all estate assets and ensuring the safety of the assets
- Setting up a bank account for the estate
- Paying the final income taxes for the decedent
- Dealing with estate and inheritance taxes
- Paying continuing expenses related to the security of assets
- Terminating leases or other outstanding contracts of the decedent
- Ensuring all legitimate creditors are paid
- Notifying banks and other agencies of the death of the individual
- Obtaining appraisals for assets when necessary
- Locating heirs when necessary
- Supervising the distribution of assets
- Closing out the probate after ensuring all tasks have been completed
About Daly City, California
Daly City, CA is the most populous city in San Mateo County, with an estimated population of about 108,000. Located south of San Francisco, Daly City was named for landowner and businessman, John Daly. The Cow Palace Arena straddles the border between Daly City and San Francisco. The Cow Palace has hosted a wide array of events, including the annual Grand National Rodeo, Horse & Stock Show, as well as the (now) Golden State Warriors’ early appearance in the NBA finals, two Republican National Conventions, and even a concert by the Beatles.
There are several golf courses that also straddle the San Francisco border, including the Olympic Club—a course that has hosted the USGA U.S. Open five times. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area includes Daly City’s Thornton Beach. Daly City is also known as a shopping mecca for residents of San Francisco thanks to plentiful free parking and a lower sales tax than neighboring San Francisco. Visitors and residents love to visit Off the Grid—a traveling market including a wide variety of rotating food trucks offering an exemplary sample of the local fare. As a Daly City resident, you may find yourself in need of an experienced Daly City probate attorney from the Law Office of Mark Gullotta.
How long do you have to file probate after a death?
According to the California Probate Code, the holder of an original Will must lodge or file the Will with the court and provide a copy to the named executor (or a named beneficiary if the executor’s whereabouts are unknown) within 30 days of learning of the person’s death. If the Will is not filed within that time frame, the executor may be liable for any damages that result. If a small estate affidavit is being filed, the executor must wait 40 days from the date of the death. In most cases, the Will must be filed in the county where the decedent lived; the court will use an existing Will to determine whether probate is required. The time it takes to complete probate can vary widely. There are several allowable shortcuts that can reduce the time it takes for probate. Creditors generally have four months to make a claim against the estate, meaning the probate must stay open for at least that length of time. The probate code requires orders of final distribution to be filed within one-year to18 months if federal tax returns are necessary. If the Will is contested, or if there is pending litigation, that timeframe can stretch out much longer.
What happens to the house in probate?
You may wonder what will happen to a house you are currently living in during probate. The answer to this question lies in how the decedent titled the house. If the house was owned jointly with the right of survivorship, the interests of the decedent will transfer to the other surviving owner or owners outside of probate. If the home was titled only in the decedent’s name—unless it was transferred into a trust—the home will go through the probate process. Whatever the situation, there is no prohibition against living in a house that is going through the probate process. In fact, executors generally prefer that someone is living in the house to ensure the property is being maintained. If you are living in a home that the decedent did not leave to you in the will, there are situations where you will not be removed until the estate is finalized, and ownership is transferred to the decedent’s chosen beneficiary. If the home is heavily mortgaged, the situation may be different. The executor must pay all the debts and taxes of the estate prior to asset distribution, so the house may need to be sold in order to pay the mortgage and other estate creditors. The estate executor may rent out the home during the probate process, but usually only if the home was already being rented by the decedent. Leases or rental agreements remain in place until they expire.
How Daly City Probate Attorney Mark Gullotta Can Help with Probate
Attorney Mark Gullotta’s clients find him knowledgeable, patient, and kind while having the necessary experience and skills to help them with probate or other estate matters. Mark will comprehensively explain issues to you in an easy-to-understand manner, answering all your questions. At the Law Office of Mark Gullotta, we can help you create an estate plan that both reflects your current situation while growing with you as your life and circumstances change. With upfront pricing and a comfortable planning experience, attorney Mark Gullotta is ready to help you plan. Contact the Law Office of Mark Gullotta today!