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When does an estate need a formal probate?

In the administration of an estate, probate law in California allows people to handle the procedures as much on their own as possible. However, there are times when a judge and probate attorney are needed to properly administer an estate. Know when and why undergoing formal probate is necessary.

When is a formal probate needed?

Informal probate is necessary when the estate owner can transfer his or her assets with little to no supervision from the court. This means that the case is simple and straightforward with no contests on the will.

A formal probate is needed when a smooth, problem-free estate administration & probate is not guaranteed. The handling of the estate is unclear and complicated. This occurs when no will is found for the estate or an individual contests the will. Another situation occurs when the estate is too complicated for one person to handle, and the court is needed for professional assistance. Additionally, formal probate may be requested when a person suspects that a legal conflict may start and wants to avoid it.

The process

Processing a formal probate starts by filing a petition and then scheduling a trial or hearing before a judge, court clerk or court commissioner. The costs of filing are higher, and the process of going through the court system could take several months longer.

Know which type of probate you need

The formal probate process is selected for a myriad of reasons. It is applied in cases where there is a will or no will. The deceased person’s family members may be unclear about the terms of the will. There are all kinds of reasons why someone may want to select the formal or informal process when administering an estate.