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By: Scott Grossman on December 7th, 2017

Family Rights and Protections in California Probate Administration

Probate administration in California is a lengthy process that allows creditors an opportunity to come forward and make claims against an estate. It is also a complex process that may be unfamiliar to many individuals suddenly faced with an estate administration. Fortunately, the California probate code offers family rights and protections in three significant ways.

Family Rights and Protections under the probate code include:

  1. Temporary Possession of the Family Dwelling and Exempt Property: The surviving spouse and minor children of a deceased person receive this protection immediately following their loved one’s death. The law allows them to remain in the family home even without a court order. They also gain control over clothing, household furniture, and other items that are exempt from creditor claims. The protection lasts until 60 days after the Inventory and Appraisal are filed.
  2. Probate Homestead Set-Aside: This protection kicks in once the Inventory is filed with the California probate court. The court decides to protect the possession of the home for some time for the surviving spouse or minor children. Sometimes this is for a short period, such as six months. Other times its for a longer period, such as the remaining life of a surviving spouse. 
  3. Family Allowance: This protection provides financial support to the deceased individual’s family members during the probate administration. Once the administrator has set aside funds to pay the expenses of administration, he or she can begin providing a family allowance.

By providing these protections during a probate, the substantial amount of time to complete the probate is less detrimental. It also puts a priority on the family of a deceased person over his or her creditors.

Obtaining these protections requires the guidance of an experienced probate lawyer. Our article How to Prepare for Your Initial Phone Consultation provides an overview of taking the first steps in a probate administration. In addition, our free guide, Probate a Will or Administer a Trust After the Loss of a Loved One, offers further information about the process. For assistance probating the estate of your deceased loved one, contact an experienced San Diego probate attorney today. Call the Grossman Law Firm at (888) 443-6590.