Law Offices of Philip M. Flanigan
Phone Icon (559) 568-4106

Free Lifetime Amendments
for VIP Members

Probate Lawyer in Fresno, CA

Plan for the unknown with the services from the Law Offices of Philip M. Flanigan. Our probate lawyer in Fresno, California, works to handle every step of the process for clients throughout the area. For more than 15 years, our probate attorney has served as the trusted source of probate and estate law for our clients.

Working with a Probate Attorney

What is probate law? Probate is the court process of winding up your estate when you die. Contrary to popular belief, even if you have a will, it is likely that your estate will require a probate proceeding. In a probate, the court will determine the validity of your last will and testament. The court also confirms the appointment of the person or institution you have named to administer your estate, oversees the administration to assure that all of your bills are paid, and works to oversee distribution of the estate to the person or persons you have name as beneficiaries.

Under probate law, the executor or personal representative named in the will is in charge of this process, and probate provides an orderly method for administration of the estate. Your executor is held accountable by the probate court. The executor is entitled to a reasonable fee or commission. In California, the probate law process is both costly and time consuming. A typical probate will take between six month and one year to complete. Additionally, the probate attorney is entitled to be compensated based not upon the amount or complexity of the work done, but by the gross value of the estate.

Courtroom in Fresno, CA

Probate Law: Should You Avoid Probate?

While probate is followed for many situations, it is not required for all wills. Many types of assets routinely pass outside of the probate process. These include life insurance or retirement plan proceeds that pass to a named beneficiary rather than your estate and real estate or bank or brokerage accounts held in joint names with right of survivorship. Our probate lawyer is happy to walk you through the process for each of these situations.

As for assets that are titled in the decedent's name alone, however, these assets will have to be probated. If probate can be avoided, it will avoid many of the costs associated with probate law, and almost always allows the estate to be administered in a much shorter amount of time. The courthouse is a great place to resolve disputes but if there are no disputes, because you have planned appropriately, then staying out of court will be beneficial to your heirs.

Contact us to work with our probate lawyer to set your estate in order. Our probate attorney is happy to meet with clients throughout Clovis, Madera, Sanger, Reedley, and Fresno, California.