John Donahue Probate Lawyer

Every legal matter is different. Every person is unique.

What is Probate?

Following the death of a loved one, his or her estate must be settled: legally. Obviously, most people want the probate settlement process to be done RIGHT NOW. There are car payments, rent or mortgage payments, utilities to pay, credit card statements needing payment to be made, and there is likely money in the loved one’s bank account to take care of these things. Unfortunately a probate in California take 18 months or more. You are probably shocked by that. Most people are. The months required to go through the Probate process can add to your current stress and anxiety.

5 Reasons Probate Takes So Long

There are many reasons why probating a will takes so long. Here are five of the most common:

1. Paperwork. Managing probate required paperwork can be a monumental undertaking with structured timelines and court-imposed deadlines.

2. Complexity. Estates with numerous or complicated assets simply take longer to probate as there are more items to be accounted for and valued.

3. Probate court caseload. Most probate courts are dealing with high caseloads and limited staff.

4. Challenges to the will. Heirs, beneficiaries, and those, who thought they’d be beneficiaries, can object to and challenge the will’s terms and legality. While state law dictates how long they have to object, will challenges can add years to the process. Common challenges include that the testator was:

· Lacking testamentary capacity

· Delusional

· Subject to undue influence

· A victim of fraud

5. Creditor Notification. A will’s executor must notify the decedent’s creditors so they have time to submit claims for debts. This time period varies from state to state as well, but it is generally six to nine months.

The bottom line is that, while most state probate laws are designed to keep the process moving along in a timely manner, that’s more of a plan than a reality.

Simply Put, Avoiding Probate with a Trust Is Better

Simply put, having assets in a trust is better. Administration generally only takes six to eight months total – meaning that the process is not tied up in court, beneficiaries get assets faster, costs are reduced, and stress levels are kept to a minimum.

Take Action Now

First, if you need help settling a probate estate, we can help you move the process along and remove some of the burden so you can move on with your life. Second, we can help you make sure you never burden your loved ones the way you’ve been burdened. How? We’ll show you how to avoid probate with a trust. J. is a probate lawyer that you can depend on.

Probate is a judge-supervised processProbate is the judge-supervised process of paying a deceased person’s legitimate bills, inventorying and appraising his or her assets, and distributing the assets to the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries according to the decedent’s will. If the decedent died without a will, the court will administer the estate by applying what the law has to determined to be a plan that the decedent would most likely would have made by himself or herself. The property does not go to the state unless the decedent died with no survivor who meets the requirements of the law’s plan.

Few people voluntarily choose probate. Usually they were too busy or preoccupied with health or other issues to plan. They pass away without a living trust and their heirs, usually the spouse or children, find that they can’t sell a house or make certain other transfers without court approval. Even with a will, they may have to file a probate proceeding.

Los Angeles Probate attorney John Donahue understands – that careful drafting of your estate planning documents will make them as effective as they can be benefited by the experience gained by handling 100’s of estate and trust litigation cases for 15-years. He drafts wills and trusts to be enforceable and to do perform precisely as intended, including the avoidance of future conflicts. Minimize stress. Provide peace of mind. Protect the people you love and the things you care about.

Los Angeles Probate Lawyer – John Donahue

Attorney Profile - John J. Donahue - Los Angeles Probate LawyerAttorney Profile – John J. Donahue is a California attorney whose practice focuses primarily on Probate, Trust, Estate, Elder Law, and helping client’s prepare their estate for retirement, tax planning, asset protection, or to position themselves to qualify for Medi-Cal nursing home benefits without necessarily becoming “poor and destitute” in order to qualify. John helps clients with planning documents, such as wills, living trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives at an affordable, flat-rate price. Call today for a Free Consultation at (562) 265-1218.

Areas of Practice

  • Probate & Estate Administration
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Elder Law
  • Estate Planning

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • California State Bar
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association

John Donahue’s Personal Guarantee

My Personal Guarantee
I take pride in adhering to the following principles in running my law practice for the past twenty years during which my clients have trusted me to provide their legal services. I promise that I will provide the following for your estate planning:

Custom Estate Plan Designed By An Attorney
I promise that when you hire me to complete your estate plan, I will personally design your estate plan myself.

Close Personal Attention
I promise you will receive individual attention, one-on-one attorney consultations until you are satisfied that we have attained your goals within the estate plan. I will be there to answer all your questions and I listen to your concerns and will provide regular updates on the status of your matter.

I promise that I will act on your behalf, to protect your interests without compromise. I will always be straightforward and honest with you.

Fair and Reasonable Fees
I strive to keep my fees very affordable, at an amount that is fair to both my clients and me. My fees are much lower than some high priced fancy office attorney, and higher than the bare bones do-it-yourself legal services and lawyers that use one-size fits all form. The best lawyer client relationship is where both parties feel satisfied. I do everything I can to give my clients the most value for their dollar.

Call To Schedule A FREE Consultation

John Donahue, Esq.Call me at (562) 265-1218 or if you are at work or unable to talk right now, please drop me a note using the quick contact form up a little bit on the left. I always offer a FREE consultation by phone or in-person within 24 hours!