Do You Understand the Benefits of Probate Our Probate Attorney Will Ensure Wishes are Honored

Orange County Probate Attorney

Make Important Decisions with Confidence

Probate is one of the most challenging and confusing subjects in the field of law that is estate planning. Simply put, probate is the administration of a decedent’s estate to carry out their intentions as expressed in a will. However, if a loved one passes away with a will, but no other estate planning instruments, such as a trust, you and your fellow beneficiaries will be unable to receive your portions of the estate until the will has been subjected to the probate process. To protect your personal interests and ensure that the probate is carried out efficiently and economically, you should proceed with the help of a professional lawyer.

At P. Arnsen Blakely, our Orange County probate lawyer has offered guidance to clients throughout Southern California for over 40 years. We are more than capable of providing clients with the counsel, support, and aggressive advocacy they require. As we understand that every probate matter is unique, we promise to tailor our service to the individual needs of each client that comes to rely on our services and experience.

At P. Arnsen Blakely, our Orange County probate litigation attorney can advise you of your rights and advocate on your behalf during each stage of this complex legal process. Contact us today to get started.

What Is Probate?

In simple terms, probate is the court process that takes place after someone dies that resolves all of the financial and legal matters associated with the decedent. With probate, the court distributes the decedent’s estate; if there is no valid will in place, the court will divide the assets as it sees fit. When you have an estate plan in place – whether it involves a will or some form of trust – you can be in control of what happens to your estate upon your death and ensure that your wishes are fulfilled.

You can turn to our law firm to help you with any aspect of the probate process, including:

More than anything, we want you to be fully aware of the benefits of probate and why it could be useful to you, your estate, and your loved ones. With this objective in mind, we have provided a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions relating to probate.

The Probate Process Explained

In the context of wills and estate planning, probate refers to the process of testing the will to ensure that it is a valid legal document which stands up to the requirements of state law. Probate in California also includes the transfer of property to the heirs or beneficiaries of the estate, as well as wrapping up the financial affairs of the person who has passed away. In California, the court will appoint someone – often a family member of the decedent – to act as the executor of the estate. In cases where the decedent died without leaving a will to direct the disposition of the assets, the court will appoint an administrator to carry out the process of estate administration.

An executor’s duties during the probate process include:

  • Gathering the assets of the estate
  • Performing an exhaustive inventory
  • Paying off and handling any existing debts
  • Distributing the remaining assets and property to the beneficiaries

Probate is not necessarily a fast process. It often takes anywhere from 9 to 18 months though probate litigation, assuming other issues do not force the case to take longer.

Complexities Involved in Probate

At P. Arnsen Blakely, we understand that probate can be a rather complex and nuanced process. Most people aren’t prepared for the death of a loved one, let alone the financial and legal challenges that tend to accompany a person’s passing. This process only gets more complicated if the court needs to become involved in a case.

This holds especially true in the following scenarios:

  • The Decedent Dies Without a Will - When an individual dies without a will, they are known as having died "intestate." This means the court is held responsible for appointing an individual to perform the duties of the executor. Probate can become difficult if California intestate succession laws must be followed when distributing property to the beneficiaries. A well-qualified probate attorney can get you started in the right direction and see to it that everything is handled correctly.
  • Probate Litigation Occurs - It can be difficult for individuals to handle the affairs of a deceased loved one. When probate occurs, loved ones may become spiteful toward one another or the worst can be brought out. From will contests to breaches of fiduciary duty, our Orange County legal team can assist you. You deserve an effective solution and we are committed to getting you there.

Legal Strategies for Avoiding Probate

In most cases, it is advisable to avoid probate if possible. California State law makes this possible for estates valued at less than $150,000 by filing an affidavit with the court. Similarly, the spouse or registered domestic partner of the decedent can usually avoid probate. Another approach for avoiding probate is to implement an irrevocable trust or another type of trust before the date of death, so that the inheritance is transferred out of the estate and will before the probate process.

Make Important Decisions with Confidence

Probate administration can be both costly and time consuming, which is why our firm offers cost-effective alternatives. We seek to inform our clients of both the positives and the negatives of probate before guiding them to the best decision. However, we want to stress that we do not push our clients to any choices; instead, we will encourage you to decide upon whatever option feels most comfortable.

Even though wills are fairly common, we will also allow you to explore the option of completing a living trust. Usually used with the specific goal of avoiding probate in mind, living trusts allow you to specifically set aside pieces of your estate to be inherited immediately upon your passing. One of the only setbacks in a trust is that it is not audited through probate, which can serve as a helpful way to double-check all of your mandates.

Over 40 Years of Legal Experience on Your Side!

When it comes to handling probate, it is important to have an experienced legal team by your side. The estate planning attorney at P. Arnsen Blakely has the skills, resources, and experience to deftly guide you through each phase of this challenging legal process. No matter the complexity of your case, you can trust our firm to provide you with the intimate knowledge and necessary tools you need to reach an effective solution.

Best of all, you can work with a seasoned lawyer who has numerous accolades, including:

  • 40+ years of experience
  • 7.5 Good Avvo rating
  • Respectable reputation amongst peers and clients

If you would like to learn more about the probate services we offer, contact P. Arnsen Blakely without delay.

A Strong Reputation in the Community

  • “I could not be more pleased with his advice, friendliness, promptness, and thoroughness.”

    Gloria L.

  • “He has always been there to protect my rights and interests in all cases, and is always honest and friendly.”


  • “He knows what he's doing and he does it extremely well. Our outcome was magnificent thanks to Arnsen Blakely.”


  • “He instinctively senses the objective I'm working toward, and understands my needs.”


Get Trustworthy Legal Guidance Today

Attorney Blakely Has the Experience & Expertise Your Case Needs
  1. Over 40 Years of Legal Experience
  2. A 7.5 "Very Good" Rating on Avvo
  3. Strong Reputation Within the Southern California Community
  4. 24/7 Access to Your Legal Representative
  5. All Initial Case Evaluations Are Free
  6. Serving Clients Across All of Southern California
  7. Attorney Blakely Passed Both the CPA and Bar Exam in the Same Year
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