About San Mateo, California
As a city in San Mateo County, San Mateo, CA is located about 20 miles south of San Francisco, on the San Francisco Peninsula. As of the 2020 census, the population of San Mateo was about 106,000. San Mateo is known for its Mediterranean climate, as well as its rich history. Central Park is San Mateo’s “signature” park, brimming with life and fun in the form of picnic areas, playgrounds, sculptures, tennis courts, a Japanese tea garden, a miniature train, inviting rose gardens, a recreation center, and the San Mateo Arboretum. Central Park occupies more than 16 acres and is a historically influential area for the Japanese-American community. Segments of B Street between 1st and 3rd Avenues were closed to vehicle traffic in 2020 to allow for expanded outdoor dining during the first year of the pandemic. The temporary closure stretched through the end of 2021 when the San Mateo City Council voted to create a permanent pedestrian mall between 1st and 3rd Avenues. Horseshoe Lake offers a variety of hiking trails with wildflowers and orchids blooming in the spring. The trails around the lake offer sweeping views and quiet beauty. As beautiful as San Mateo is, residents must deal with probate, just like those across the United States. Having an experienced San Mateo probate attorney to consult during this difficult time can make all the difference.
What Probate Services Does the Law Office of Mark Gullotta Provide?
Following the death of an individual who left a will, that will must be proved in a court of law and accepted as a valid document that reflects the decedent’s last wishes. This process is known as probate. If the decedent left no will or other estate planning documents, then probate is also required in order to distribute real property under California probate laws. Probate resolves all claims on an estate and can be a lengthy, time-consuming, and complex process.
Having an experienced San Mateo probate by your side ensures the estate is distributed according to the decedent’s wishes. The Law Office of Mark Gullotta can help you through the probate process. If you have just lost a loved one, probate is something you probably do not want to deal with. Probate attorney Mark Gullotta can help those named or appointed as executors with the following probate tasks:
- Setting up a checking account for the estate
- Identifying all estate assets
- Securing estate assets
- When necessary, obtaining appraisals for real property
- Ensuring all debts of the decedent are paid from the estate
- Collecting life insurance proceeds
- Preparing and filing all probate documents required by the probate court in a timely manner
- Ensuring all taxes are paid, including estate, inheritance, and income taxes
- Assisting in the management of the estate checking account
- Managing the estate bank account
- After all debts are paid, transferring assets and making final disbursements to the appropriate beneficiaries
While probate certainly has its negative aspects, there are certain positive aspects as well. A San Mateo probate attorney can help ensure a smaller estate is protected when the decedent died without a will. Those who currently have insufficient resources to engage in estate planning may find it preferable to allow their estate to bear the costs of probate following their death. In some cases, probate can reduce the time creditors have to make claims against the estate. When probate is required, an individual must come forward to start the process. If the decedent left a will, that person will be the named executor. If no will was left by the decedent, the court will name an administrator. Either way, the executor or administrator can significantly benefit from having a San Mateo probate attorney from the Law Office of Mark Gullotta to assist in the probate process.
FAQs About Probate in San Mateo
When is probate required?
In many cases a Probate is required in California when there is a will, or when there is no will—and there are no other estate planning documents. For instance, if the decedent put their assets into a trust—and had no reason for a will (like appointing a guardian for minor children)—then probate is not required. Ownership of an asset can also be transferred outside of probate under the following circumstances:
- By transferring property to others prior to death
- Through the right of survivorship—two individuals who hold title to an asset in joint tenancy
- Between spouses who hold property as community property with the right of survivorship
- Through payable-on-death bank accounts
- Through beneficiary designations on life insurance policies or retirement accounts
- By using the summary probate procedure
How much does an estate have to be worth to go through probate?
When a decedent died prior to April 1, 2022, under the California Probate Code, an estate worth $166,250 or less does not require probate in probate court. If the death occurred on or after April 1, 2022, that threshold amount is increased to $184,500. Estates that have assets in excess of these amounts will require probate in probate court. While some estates may seem, at first glance, to be more than the allowable amount, remember, only probate assets count for this purpose. Probate assets do not include life insurance, retirement accounts, assets held in a living trust, or joint tenancy assets. When the value of the estate is less than the above amounts, an affidavit must be prepared and presented to the institutions that hold the assets. Transfer by summary probate procedure may be quicker and less costly than conventional probate.
How San Mateo Probate Attorney Mark Gullotta Can Help with Probate
San Mateo probate attorney Mark Gullotta can provide experienced probate assistance for those in San Mateo and surrounding areas. The Law Office of Mark Gullotta is unique because of Mark’s commitment to every person who walks through the door needing assistance. Mark has been an estate planning attorney for more than 19 years, providing his clients with the services they need related to probate and estate planning. Contact attorney Mark Gullotta today for knowledgeable legal representation for the probate process and every other type of estate planning issue.