San Carlos Probate Attorney Here to Guide You
About San Carlos, California
San Carlos, California, is a city in San Mateo County, California with a population of about 31,000 as of the 2020 census. Before the Spanish arrived in 1769, San Carlos was occupied by a group of Native Americans who called themselves Lamchins. The area was plentiful with game, fowl, and fish (in the San Francisco Bay), lending itself to the Native American life of hunting and gathering.
Those visiting San Carlos will enjoy the Hiller Aviation Museum with its interactive exhibits and more than 40 aircraft. Each May, San Carlos hosts Hometown Days in Burton Park, while October brings the Art & Wine Faire. A weekly farmer’s market is held on summer Sunday mornings.
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company, located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay area peninsula, produces sustainably handcrafted beer that has won many awards. Devil’s Canyon Brewing has live music, food trucks, and a family-friendly environment that is sure to please locals and visitors alike. Like those across the United States, those in San Carlos may find themselves needing a San Carlos probate attorney.
What Probate Services Does the Law Office of Mark Gullotta Provide?
Since probate can be a lengthy process—not to mention a complex one in many cases—having a San Carlos probate attorney from the Law Office of Mark Gullotta can make a real difference. Probate attorneys can be consulted in situations where the decedent left a will as well as in situations where no will is found. Attorney Mark Gullotta can help grieving families with the following:
- Taking the necessary steps to ensure the probate is completed legally and professionally, in the shortest amount of time possible
- Helping family members remain united rather than engaging in disputes regarding the will—or lack of a will
- Allowing family members, the time they need to grieve without having to deal with the probate process
- Challenging certain debts filed against the estate, especially when creditor manipulation is at hand
Probate requires that a will be “proved” in court in order to be accepted as a valid public document that accurately reflects the last wishes of the deceased. When there is no will, the court will appoint an executor—either a person who petitions the court to be executor or one that the court names according to California probate law. Either way—when a will exists or when it doesn’t—probate is a fact of life. All claims are resolved during the probate process, and all assets are distributed. The assets will be distributed according to the will, or according to California probate law in the event no will exists.
California probate tends not to be as arduous a process as it can be in other states. If the decedent left assets in joint tenancy, community property with a spouse, or had a living trust, then the assets may not be required to go through probate. If the total value of the estate is less than $166,250 for a death that occurred prior to April 1, 2022 or $184,500 if the death occurred on or after April 1, 2022, the assets may be claimed through a streamlined summary probate process. If probate is required, the court will issue Letters Testamentary granting the executor authority over the estate. In general, Probate can take from six months to two years and can benefit greatly from having a San Carlos probate attorney from the Law Office of Mark Gullotta.
Should I Probate a Will Without A Lawyer?
Although you can probate a California will without a lawyer, it is rarely a good idea. Just as you probably wouldn’t change out your car’s alternator, or perform your own root canal, there are valid reasons for consulting a probate lawyer following a death—whether you are just the executor or a family member of the decedent. There are time constraints, lots of paperwork, and issues you may not fully understand that come with probate. A probate attorney can step in when there is a contest to the will, ensuring the estate is preserved and protected throughout. A family member may challenge the will, claiming the decedent did not have the mental capacity to identify beneficiaries. Since beneficiaries usually want the estate to be probated as quickly as possible, having a legal professional handle such a challenge is essential. Creditors may make claims against the estate—claims which might or might not be valid. Your San Carlos probate attorney can evaluate creditor claims to determine their validity. Probate takes a significant amount of time—time many executors simply don’t have. In the end, it is virtually always a good idea to consult with a probate attorney before attempting probate on your own.
How is a probate attorney paid during the probate process?
On its face, it can seem unnecessarily expensive to pay a probate attorney. If the probate ends up taking significantly more time, there are unwarranted creditor claims, or challenges to the will, the cost of doing it yourself may be more than a probate attorney charges. In the state of California, the statutory fees for a probate attorney are at least 4% of the first $100,000 of the estate’s value, 3 percent of the next $100,000, and 2 percent of the next 800,000. The “average” California estate valued at $350,000 would accrue attorney fees of about $9,000. This is a relatively small amount that allows you to avoid all the many headaches associated with the probate process. When you consider that an executor can be held personally liable for mistakes made during the probate, it doesn’t make sense not to hire a San Carlos probate attorney.
How San Carlos Probate Attorney Mark Gullotta Can Help with Probate
A San Carlos probate attorney from the Law Office of Mark Gullotta can help you in many ways when you are facing a California probate. It can be extremely beneficial to work with an experienced probate and estate planning attorney like Mark Gullotta to ensure your probate goes smoothly. When you are facing the challenges of probate, estate administration, or estate planning, choosing the right attorney matters. Attorney Mark Gullotta understands that you may be feeling overwhelmed. Contact the Law Office of Mark Gullotta today—Mark is dedicated to supporting you throughout the probate process.