First Steps in Probate

You may have found that you are in need of a Probate Attorney following the death of a family member or close friend.  A Probate Attorney can help you from the very beginning in knowing what the first steps are and guiding you through the court process.

It is helpful to do the following prior to meeting with a Probate Attorney:

  1. Look for a will or a trust. This will assist the Attorney in knowing how to proceed with the Probate and if Probate is necessary. Additionally, the Will or Health Care Documents with the Will may contain funeral and burial instructions, which is an immediate need.
  2. Order Certified Copies of the Death Certificate. Several copies Probate of Willof the death certificate are needed and it is good to have them available. In general, five copies should be sufficient.If additional copies of the death certificate are needed at a later date, they can be received through the County Recorder’s office in the county in which the death occurred. Most mortuaries will obtain certified copies.
  3. Determine what Property the Decedent Owned. To begin, list what real House in Probateproperty was owned. Most Probate Attorneys will have a worksheet they can send to you prior to your appointment, which will assist you in listing the assets. A Probate Attorney can review the list of property and determine if probate is necessary.

The Swenson Law Firm offers Probate Consultations free of charge. Contact our office at 916-333-0833 to schedule an appointment or contact us here.

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