Carlsbad Probate Attorney
The process of dividing an estate can be difficult, and when disputes arise, you want to make sure you protect the interests of your family. At the Law Office of Rickard L. Borg, we protect the rights of individuals and families involved in will contests and estate litigation. As a trial lawyer with over 40 years of experience, attorney Rickard Borg has the resources and experience to protect your rights in court. As a child, Rickard Borg endured the hardship of his father’s failure to prepare an adequate estate plan. Now he enjoys helping families avoid a similar crisis.
Probate Practice Overview
With a comprehensive estate planning and administration practice, we are able to represent a wide range of clients involved in probate or estate litigation. We represent trust beneficiaries and heirs named in wills. We also represent excluded heirs who believe there was foul play. Finally, we represent trustees and executors in charge over a disputed will or trust.
The majority of estate and probate litigation involves one of the following scenarios:
1. Allegation of Undue Influence
This occurs when a party has convinced a mentally incompetent or dying person to alter a will in their influence or cut others out entirely.
2. Disputes Over the Valuation of Assets
This could include allegations of missing or misappropriated assets and gifts prior to death.
3. Inconsistencies in a Will or Trust
This occurs when a trust and an estate outline different plans. The court must determine the deceased’s true wishes if a settlement cannot be reached.
4. Failure to Secure Independent Review
Under California law, independent review is necessary when conflicts arise. We can manage these concerns for our clients.
If you have recently lost a loved one who did not leave behind a will, or comprehensive estate plan for his or her estate, you will have to distribute his or her assets through the probate process. While it can be long and complicated, with the help of an experienced lawyer, it does not have to be. We will work to utilize those procedures available to streamline the process as much as possible. If beneficiaries are agreeable, a waiver of accounting will always be a benefit to expedite the process.
The probate process starts with the filing of a petition to probate the will. The original will is filed with the petition if not before. All appropriate heirs are notified in person, and a notice is published in the newspaper. Sometimes a bond is ordered and sometimes waived; this is all part of the unpredictable process.
A notice to creditors is sent after the court approves the petition. After all creditor issues are resolved, a preliminary inventory is filed and then a probate referee is employed to appraise the assets. If assets need to be sold pending resolution of the estate, a notice of intended action is sent to all interested persons. A final accounting and petition for final distribution are the basic steps before the court issues its orders and receipts are filed in order for the executor to receive a final discharge by the court.
At The Law Offices of Rickard L. Borg in Carlsbad Village, we are ready to help you simplify the process and protect your family.
It costs money to administer an estate through probate. You will have to pay 4% of the first $100,000 in fees to the state. The percentage goes down as the value of the estate goes up.
Probate Fee Schedule
Statistically it is better to try to avoid probate. In some rare cases, probate is the best alternative as the courts supervise the entire process, which in some estates is a benefit. Also in a probate sale of assets, the sale is final. However, with that said, the negatives far outweigh the benefits for most cases.
California Probate Code section 10810 sets the statutory fees that attorneys can charge for a probate. Extraordinary fees can be ordered by a court when complicated issues arise, such as a legal dispute over ownership of an asset.
Estates under $100,000 are handled on a summary basis with little court action.
Fees for estates up to $25 million filed with the court are:
- 4% of the first $100,000;
- 3%t of the next $100,000;
- 2%of the next $800,000;
- 1% of the next $9,000,000; and
- 1/2% of the next $15,000,000.
Both the executor and the attorney are entitled to the statutory fee. There is no discount for debts of the estate, as the fee is determined on the gross value of the estate.
ADVANTAGES OF PROBATE
The proceedings are controlled by a judge, who can decide disputes between heirs, or between the heirs and the executor. Creditors are required to submit their claims against the estate within a four-month period, provided they have been notified of the probate. The executor is required, in most cases, to prepare an accounting and report of the executor’s activities.
There are many ways to resolve a dispute over a will, trust or estate plan. From our offices in Carlsbad Village, we will make sure you protect your rights in and out of the courtroom. Open during weekly business hours, we also offer evening and weekend appointments. Contact Rick today to schedule a consultation.