2000 Alameda de Las Pulgas, Suite 250, San Mateo, CA 94403-1271 • Phone 650-341-2900
Providing Litigation, planning and transactional services

Receive Sound Advice from a San Mateo County Probate Lawyer

Providing dedicated support to residents of the Bay Area counties

Our San Mateo probate attorneys at Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP have substantial experience assisting clients with the probate of wills in California, including probate administration and related probate litigation and other estate planning matters. Our attorneys assist personal representatives, also known as executors, beneficiaries, and others in San Mateo County, the Silicon Valley, San Francisco and throughout the San Francisco Peninsula and Northern California.

What is the San Mateo probate process?

In San Mateo and throughout California, probate is a court-supervised process where:

  • The final will of a deceased person (decedent) is proved to be valid
  • The provisions of the will are given effect
  • An executor is appointed
  • The decedent’s estate is distributed to named beneficiaries

If the decedent died without a will, the estate must be distributed to the decedent’s next of kin in accordance with California’s law of intestate succession.

Once a decedent passes away, a trusts and estates attorney can help a beneficiary file a petition of probate with the court for an order that determines the time and place of the decedent’s death and officially appoints the executor. Creditors, beneficiaries and others are given notice and time to file claims against the estate. Sometimes, an estate planning lawyer is needed to track down heirs to give them notice.

After the petition is filed, a hearing is scheduled. If anyone objects to the petition or contests the will, the hearing is used to resolve these issues. When a will is upheld, the executor manages all aspects of the estate, including:

  • Inventorying assets
  • Paying creditors, bills and taxes
  • Managing real property or businesses
  • Filing an accounting

Once the executor completes all of his or her duties, often with the guidance of a probate lawyer in San Mateo, a petition is filed to distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.

A San Mateo County probate litigation attorney providing guidance

The probate process can be complex and time consuming, taking months or even years to complete. When issues are in dispute, the resulting probate litigation can make the process even longer. Examples of common probate disputes include the following:

  • Will contests
  • Fraud, undue influence  or incapacity
  • Beneficiary disagreements
  • Accounting disputes
  • Executor’s breach of fiduciary duty or conflicts of interest
  • Removal of an executor

A probate litigation lawyer can ease the burden of protracted probate administration or litigation by offering advice and guidance throughout the process. Our San Francisco estate planning lawyers offer comprehensive assistance, including advising executors on how to comply with fiduciary duties and representing the interests of beneficiaries or disinherited heirs.

Experienced San Mateo County probate lawyers

At Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP, we welcome the opportunity to serve your probate and estate planning needs. Our practice is concentrated in San Mateo County and San Francisco, but we also represent clients in the Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Peninsula and throughout Northern California. Conveniently located at the intersection of Route 92 and U.S. 101, we offer evening and weekend appointments as needed. For a complimentary consultation, contact us today at (650) 341-2900 or leave a brief message on our contact page.

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Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP
2000 Alameda de Las Pulgas, Suite 250
San Mateo, CA, 94403-1271 USA