Simplify the Probate Process

Trusted Probate Attorneys

Located in Orange County, CA, Essayli & Brown LLP provides experienced legal services for probate cases. Probate is a court process that occurs when a person dies without a trust, involving the validation of wills, determination of heirs or beneficiaries, and distribution of the decedent’s assets under court supervision. Probate is a long and complex process, but we are here to help.

Our experienced attorneys guide clients through the complex probate process, ensuring the efficient and proper administration of estates. Additionally, we assist beneficiaries who have concerns about the distribution of a loved ones’ estate.

Lawyer reviewing notes with his client
Lawyer shaking hands with his client

Probate Services

We offer a wide range of probate services designed to assist individuals and families throughout the probate process. Our dedicated team helps with essential tasks such as validating wills, determining heirs or beneficiaries, managing estate assets, and overseeing the distribution of assets according to the decedent’s wishes. We also provide guidance on debt management, resolving disputes, and ensuring a smooth and efficient probate administration.

Probate FAQ

Do I need to review or update my estate plan if I already have one?

Given the ever-changing tax laws, family dynamics, and individual considerations, it is advisable to review your estate plan every three years or when significant life events occur. Contact us for a free consultation to ensure your estate plan reflects your current wishes.

What is the difference between probate and non-probate assets?

Probate is the court process used to distribute assets after death, while non-probate assets transfer outside of probate through mechanisms like beneficiary designations or joint ownership. Avoiding probate can save time and money, although probate can be useful for dispute resolution. We can provide guidance on navigating these complexities.

What is a "Springing" Power of Attorney?

A “Springing” Power of Attorney grants someone the authority to manage your finances either immediately or only upon your incapacity. Each option has advantages and disadvantages. Contact us today for further information about this important legal document.

What happens if I die without a will or estate plan?

Dying without a will means dying “intestate,” where state law dictates how assets are distributed. This may not align with your wishes or the terms of your trust or estate planning documents. Protect your assets and ensure your desired distribution by starting the estate planning process with us.

What are the fees for probate if I die without an estate plan?

The probate fees are found in California Probate Code §10810, entitled “Compensation of estate attorney.” The probate fees on a $1 million gross estate would be $23,000 to the attorney. If the executor elects to take a fee, the fee will double to $46,000. The fees are based on gross assets, meaning that they do not include debts like mortgages when calculating the fees – they only look at the appraised value of the property. The fees are calculated as a percentage of the estate:

  • Four percent on the first $100,000
  • Three percent on the next $100,000
  • Two percent on the next $800,000
  • One percent on the next $9,000,000
  • One-half of 1 percent on the next $15,000,000

For all amounts above $25,000,000, a reasonable amount to be determined by the court.

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