Probate is a legal proceeding that is used to wind up a person’s legal and financial affairs after death. In California probate proceedings are conducted in the Superior Court for the county in which the decedent lived, and can take at least eight months and sometimes as long as several years.
A conservatorship is a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person or organization (called the “conservator”) to care for another adult (called the “conservatee”) who cannot care for himself or herself or manage his or her own finances.
A guardianship is when a court orders someone other than the child’s parent to:
Have custody of the child; or
Manage the child’s property (called “estate”); or
A probate guardianship of the person is set up because a child is living with an adult who is not the child’s parent, and the adult needs a court order to make decisions on behalf of the child. Generally, probate guardianships are for children under 18.
What happen's during Probate?
A personal representative/executor/executrix is appointed by the Court to administer the estate.
The personal representative provides notice to all interested parties of the proceeding.
The personal representative collects and inventories all the assets subject to the probate administration.
Creditors and Taxes
All creditors of the decedent's estate and applicable federal and state taxes are paid.
The personal representative distributes the assets of the estate to the persons who take under the decedent's will or by intestate succession.