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In the State of California, the executor of an estate has the right to hire a probate attorney to assist in the management of process, or to keep matters in their own hands. If the executor wishes to control the process by themselves, the estate is called “in pro per”. That signifies that there is not an attorney supervising the process. In either case, the process will still be overseen by the Courts.
Often this decision is best determined by the size of the estate. If the assets of the estate, including the net value of any property, is less than $100,000, the executor is likely to go the course alone. In a larger or more complicated estate, hiring an attorney is often the best way to go. Probate can be complicated and daunting and if the rules and demands are not properly followed, it will lead to lengthy delays. While the executor will still gather records and perform a number of duties, the process will be reviewed, adjusted, and presented to the Court by the attorney.
Another factor to consider is that when there are multiple heirs in an estate, there will naturally be numerous questions that can best be handled by an attorney. This will relieve the executor of the burden of answering these questions, and it will bring a greater sense of security to the other heirs. The expense of having an attorney is paid by the estate and therefore shared proportionately by all the heirs.
Advance Inheritance believes that hiring an attorney is usually money well spent.