What is Probate? 

Law Offices of Sue C. Swisher - (909) 843-6490 

20955 Pathfinder Road, #100, Diamond Bar, CA 91765  swisher@wtelaw.com  / Text: (626) 262-2465her@wtelaw.com 

Probate is the legal process in which the court oversees that when someone passes away, their debts are paid, and their assets are distributed to the decedent's heirs either according to their will or according to California law if there is no will.   

Probate Administration:

The probate administration process begins by filing a Petition for Letters of Administration in probate court in the county where decedent resided at death.     The Petition is typically filed by a family member to request the probate judge to appoint him/her as personal representative to manage the decedent's assets.   When the Petition is filed, the court sets a hearing date.  The hearing date is typically set within 30-days in Los Angeles County, but it is different in each county.  Before the hearing, the proposed administrator must give notice of the hearing to all the heirs of decedent by mail and do a publication of the notice in the local newspaper.  In there is a will, notice is also given to the beneficiaries of the will. 

On the day of the hearing, the court makes sure that all notices have been given as required by law.  If there are no objections to the proposed personal representative, the court will appoint the petitioner as administrator and will issue Letters of Administration.  Once Letters of Administration are issued, the administrator can begin the probate administration.  The administrator is typically required to post a Bond. 

Once Letters of Administration are issued by the probate court, the administrator can begin the task of gathering the assets and debts of the decedent.  With the Letters of Administration, the administrator has the authority to contact financial institutions to collect the accounts of the decedent, including CD's, retirement accounts, life insurance, and to place them in an Estate account. 

The administrator must also do a reasonable search for all debts of the decedent, including any unpaid taxes and creditors.   The administrator will ensure that there are no outstanding bills, and will pay any outstanding debt.  

The administrator will also need to file an Inventory & Appraisal listing all the assets of the decedent, including all real property. 

While the probate process may seem overwhelming, our firm is experienced in Probate Administration and has assisted numerous administrators in handling their loved one's estate.  There are different aspects in every case and our firm works closely with you to assure that the process is efficient and easy to understand.  


Que Es Probate? 

La sucesión ("probate") es el proceso legal en el cual el tribunal supervisa que cuando una persona fallece, sus deudas se pagan y sus activos se distribuyen de acuerdo con su testamento o de acuerdo con la ley de California si no tiene testamento. El proceso comienza con la presentación de una Petición de Cartas de Administración. Esta Petición solicita que el tribunal nombre a un administrador para administrar el patrimonio. El administrador puede ser un miembro de la familia.

Una vez que el administrador es designado por el tribunal, tiene la autoridad para reunir los bienes del difunto. El administrador luego hará un inventario de todos los activos, pagará las deudas del difunto y notificará a ciertas autoridades de la muerte del individuo. Una vez que el administrador ha cobrado todos los bienes y pagado a los acreedores, se presenta una petición final y un informe al tribunal para solicitar autorización para hacer la distribución a los herederos del difunto. Nuestra firma maneja muchas sucesiones y puede ayudarlo en el proceso.


(909) 843-6490


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Spanish Speaking Probate Attorney: Serving all probate matters in Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County