Galyean Talley & Wood, Escondido, CA
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Galyean 760-747-7591
Talley 760-747-7687
Wood 760-747-2204

Probate and Estate Planning

Probate is the formal legal process that gives recognition to a will and appoints the executor or personal representative who will administer the estate and distribute assets to the intended beneficiaries. The laws of each state vary, so it is a good idea to consult an attorney to determine whether a probate proceeding is necessary, whether the fiduciary must be bonded (a requirement that is often waived in the will) and what reports must be prepared. Most probate proceedings are neither expensive nor prolonged, which is contrary to the claims of many vendors selling living trust and other products.

The basic job of administration and accounting for assets must be done whether the estate is handled by an executor in probate or whether probate is avoided because all assets were transferred to a living trust during lifetime or jointly owned. Many states have simplified or streamlined their probate processes over the years. In such states, there is now less reason to use probate avoidance techniques unless there are other valid reasons to continue to minimize probate. In planning your estate, more important than minimizing probate is minimizing the real issues that can make probate difficult, such as lawsuits by heirs.

Thomas E. Galyean has over 35 years of experience litigating cases as an attorney and he has served as a mediator, arbitrator, and settlement panel judge pro tem for the San Diego Superior Court for over 20 years.
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Robert Wood has been a Certified Family Law Specialist since 1997.  His practice consists of Family Law (divorce, custody, support, property division, mediation, special master) and Estate Planning (Trusts, Wills, Health Directives, Powers of Attorney).

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