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Probate Lawyers in Elk Grove, CA, Assisting Families Settle Their Loved One’s Estate Matters

One of the most challenging issues that any family has to deal with is the death of a loved one. However, the situation can be even more difficult if your loved one does not leave behind a will expressing their final wishes regarding how their assets should be distributed. 

Determining if your loved one’s estate must go through the probate process can be overly complex and, in most cases, requires the help of an experienced probate attorney. However, even if the decedent leaves behind a will, the estate may still need to go through the probate process. 

In many cases, families desperately need the assets that are being held in probate which can create financial hardship for the family.

If you are facing the possibility of dealing with probate after the death of your loved one, you will need an experienced attorney who can advise you of your legal rights. Cianchetta & Associates of Elk Grove, CA, have extensive experience handling probate legal matters for families and helping them obtain the financial resources they need. Contact our law offices to schedule a free initial consultation with a qualified legal team member who can review your case and advise you of your legal options.

What is Probate in California?

Probate in California is the legal process in California that involves the oversight of a decedent’s assets. The probate process is a court action that deals with several issues involving the deceased individual’s estate. Some of the legal elements of probate that must be addressed include:

  • Determining the validity of an existing will.
  • Determining the decedent’s heirs and beneficiaries.
  • Determining the value of the decedent’s assets.
  • Ensuring that all estate taxes and debts are paid in full.
  • Transferring of the decedent’s property to their rightful heirs and beneficiaries. 

If the decedent left a will, the probate court would allow the appointed executor to manage the estate, including collecting assets, paying creditors and other debts, and distributing any remaining property to the rightful beneficiaries. If the decedent did not leave a will, the court will appoint an administrator who acts in the same capacity as the named executor. 

If you have concerns about the probate process, one of the knowledgeable attorneys of Cianchetta & Associates will be happy to assist you and answer your questions.

What Types of Legal Services Does a Probate Lawyer Provide?

A California probate lawyer can provide clients with various legal services to help make the legal process go more smoothly and save time and money. Some of the essential services a probate attorney can assist clients with includes:

  • Helping to complete and file all probate forms,
  • Locating all of the deceased’s probate and non-probate assets.
  • Arranging appraisals of all estate assets.
  • Overseeing the management of all of the decedent’s debts.
  • Establishing a bank account to pay estate debts.
  • Ensure the executor has fully paid all estate, federal, and state taxes.
  • Resolving issues that may arise between the executor and beneficiaries.
  • Ensure that all rightful heirs and beneficiaries receive their inheritance and that the final probate process is completed.

How Long Does the Probate Process Take to Complete in California?

The probate process can be lengthy and time consuming and depends on the circumstances surrounding the decedent’s estate. In most cases, the entire legal process can take anywhere between 9 to 18 months. However, the larger the estate, the longer it may take to resolve all legal issues that pertain to estate distribution.

However, California law dictates that the executor or personal representative must complete the probate process within one year from the date they were appointed unless they file an extension. If the court grants an extension, the representative will have up to 18 months to complete probate. If, for any reason, the probate has not been completed by that time, the personal representative must file a status report with the probate court to explain why they need more time.  

Suppose the executor or personal representative doesn’t report to the court. In that case, the heirs can file a petition to order them to present an estate accounting or take legal action to force them to close the estate. However, any changes can cause probate to take longer.

If you are having issues with the personal representative of your loved one’s estate, contact our law offices in Elk Grove, CA, to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring Your Law Firm?

The California probate process can be confusing and challenging to try and navigate on your own. While no law states that you must hire a probate attorney to help you manage your loved one’s estate, having qualified legal representation who can protect your interests is always advisable. 

Sadly, when a loved one dies, family members often disagree on how matters should be handled. Having a probate attorney on your side can help you manage all estate management issues and help avoid costly legal disputes. 

Another significant advantage of hiring a probate attorney is the assurance that all estate matters are handled correctly so that no legal issues arise later. Additionally, an experienced probate attorney assists you and can save you and your family precious time and money in the long run. 

Cianchetta & Associates of Elk Grove, CA, recognizes that many families desperately need the financial resources held up in probate to live comfortably. For this reason, our probate lawyers will take a proactive approach to your case to ensure that your family receives the assets and inheritance it deserves.

Contact our law firm by calling 916-685-7878 and ask to schedule a no-obligation consultation so that we may thoroughly review your case and determine your legal options. 


Mr. Cianchetta is an OUTSTANDING attorney. I was a little nervous about seeing an attorney for my case. Mr. Cianchetta and his staff made my wife and I feel right at ease. He took extra time explaining what to expect before, during and after our process. His advice was right on!

- Jack M.
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