Probate and Estate Administration
At Hinojosa & Forer LLP, our attorneys have a wealth of experience in probate administration matters and have extensive expertise in high net‑worth estates which often involve complex tax issues. We are also well‑equipped to handle estate litigation should a will contest or other estate dispute arise.
Probate refers to the process where a court oversees the administration of a deceased person's estate. The purpose of probate administration is to ensure that any final bills and expenses of the decedent are paid, including any taxes owed, and any claims by creditors settled. Probate administration can include probate of wills, intestate estates, when the decedent has died without a will, and ancillary probate administration, when the decedent has died with assets located in another jurisdiction. Remaining assets are distributed to the beneficiaries named in the decedent's will, or if the decedent died without a will, or “intestate,” the decedent's estate will be distributed to the decedent's heirs as defined under California's laws governing intestate succession.
An executor or personal representative of a decedent’s estate has a fiduciary obligation to the estate and its beneficiaries. As fiduciaries, they are held to strict standards of conduct and they can be subjected to personal liability for breaches of their duties. In order to avoid such potentially costly missteps, knowledgeable and expert legal counsel is required. We work closely with the personal representative to marshal and value the assets of the estate, settle any claims against the estate, efficiently move the estate through the probate process, and transfer title to assets to the heirs and other beneficiaries of the decedent. In the event that a dispute arises during the course of the administration of a probate estate, our attorneys are fully prepared to mediate or litigate as necessary to protect our clients' interests and reach resolution of the matter as quickly and efficiently as possible. We have experienced paralegals and support staff to insure that every estate is administered with a minimum of expense and delay.
Many of our probate estates involve significant wealth, requiring the filing of a federal estate tax return. Our attorneys have extensive experience in federal estate tax matters, including successful interactions with the Internal Revenue Service to resolve even the most complex tax matters. Our attorneys are often consulted or engaged by other probate attorneys and accountants in managing complex estate tax issues.
Seek Representation from an Experienced Probate Lawyer
Serving as the personal representative of a decedent's estate involves many fiduciary duties and responsibilities. It is important to seek the guidance and representation of an experienced attorney who specializes in probate administration and estate planning matters. For a consultation regarding your probate matter, please contact us via email or at (310) 473‑7000 to schedule a consultation with one of the Firm's highly experienced probate attorneys.