For many people, Orange County Probate is extremely confusing.  Not only is it confusing, but it’s time consuming, eerily public and a very costly way to have to sort through your loved ones affairs when they are gone.

That’s why I want to take a few minutes today to walk you through the process so you know what to expect if you are currently dealing with the Orange County probate court.

Basically when a person passes away, the Superior Court of the County will finish off the financial proceedings of his or her estate. This process can last anywhere between eight months to many tedious years.

The executor (who hopefully was appointed in the deceased’s will if he or she had one) will generally file with the Superior Court to let them know who will be handling the deceased’s financial matters. If there is no executor appointed, the Superior Court will typically send out letters to all the heirs of the deceased in letting them know of future proceedings set to take place.

In every proceeding you have advantages as well as disadvantages. One “advantage” of Orange County probate is that a judge is going to handle disputes among family members. As you can imagine, this is common after the passing of a loved one, especially if someone does not agree with the provisions laid forth in the deceased person’s will or if there was no will to begin with.

Yet for most people, the disadvantages of Orange County probate typically outweigh the benefits.  As I mentioned earlier, the process could take years, which is a problem for families desperately waiting on money or assets to get by. It’s also expensive, as lawyers are required through the entire process and will be paid their full fees out of the proceeds of the estate.  Finally, its public, which means every scam artist and busy body in town will know exactly what your loved one has and who is getting what now that they’ve passed.

That’s why it’s extremely important for families to hire an Orange County probate attorney who understands the sensitive nature of such situations and also knows how to get the financial and legal closure a family needs during this difficult time.   If you’re not sure where to start in finding a compassionate, yet experienced Orange County probate attorney, I invite you to mention this article and call (949) 260-1400 to see what your next step would be.