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What is probate?

Probate is the court’s supervision of the distribution of the property of a deceased person (the “decedent”).  The decedent’s property may pass through his or her will or by intestacy, which means that the decedent did not have a will.  If the decedent did not have a will, they are said to have died “intestate” and the laws of intestate succession are used to determine who will inherit the estate.  Intestate succession is limited to people who are related to the decedent, either by blood or by marriage.


Critical functions of probate administration include:


  • Provides evidence of transfer of title to new owners, making the property marketable again

  • Protects creditors by providing a procedure for payment of the decedent’s death

  • Pays estate taxes

  • Distributes the decedent’s property to those intended after the decedent’s creditors are paid


Hector is here to help you resolve probate matters as quickly as possible.  Whether you would like to petition the court to be named administrator of an estate or if you have already been appointed as an administrator and need assistance in navigating the probate process, Hector can help you successfully close out the estate of the decedent timely and efficiently by assisting the administrator with managing the decedent’s property, marshaling the estate’s assets, paying the estate’s debts – including federal estate taxes and applicable California and Federal income taxes, if any – and making final distribution of the net assets of the estate.    

Why should I hire an attorney instead of a paralegal or a document preparation service?

Many paralegals and document preparation services solicit their services in this field.  Keep in mind, however, these people are not qualified lawyers - they cannot stand in front of the judge on your behalf, they cannot be heard on the record, and they cannot effectively advocate for you.  Getting bad advice from a non-licensed professional such as paralegal or an employee with a document preparation service can potentially lead to your reduced compensation, removal as administrator, and other sanctions imposed by the court. 

When the court appoints you as personal representative of an estate, you become an officer of the court and assume certain duties and obligations.  An administrator of an estate has a “fiduciary” duty to the beneficiaries.  That means that the administrator’s sole duty is to act for the best interests of the beneficiaries.  The co-mingling of assets, failure to submit the decedent’s final tax return, or failure to provide notice to creditors are all examples of what is considered a “breach” of the fiduciary duty. 


At the Law Offices of Hector C. Perez, we will attend court hearings and be heard on your behalf.  We also provide assistance to the personal representative in the administration of the decedent’s estate.  It is in the best interests of our clients to preserve familial relationships. 

Contesting a will

The person who creates the will is called the “testator.”  After the testator has deceased, the will is used as a set of instructions for distributing the decedent’s assets according to his or her wishes.  There are several grounds for contesting a will.  This includes:

  • The will was not signed in accordance with applicable California laws

  • The testator lacked the necessary capacity to sign the will

  • The testator was unduly influenced into signing a will

  • The will was procured by fraud (i.e. the testator was “tricked” into signing the will)

Hector will advocate for those individuals who would otherwise face an unjust outcome, which can arise from the greed of others whenever money is at stake, ruining relationships between family members beyond repair. 


Hector is committed to fighting for his clients, ensuring that trustees and executors do their job fairly and quickly. 

Law Offices of

Hector C. Perez

“Reliable, Compassionate, Local Attorney"

Dedicated to serving the Santa Fe Springs and Norwalk area located in the Los Angeles County. Hector is ready to help you with any of your lawyer needs. 

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