When Californians die, it is, naturally, a time of grief for their loved ones. It is also a time of anxiety and uncertainty for those responsible for the accounting and transfer of their assets. Depending on the size and nature of the decedent’s property, debts, and their estate plan, if any, the process is confusing and ripe for conflict and error. This is even so for educated legal professionals, if they are unfamiliar with the probate process and the state and federal rules regulating estate administration and distribution.

Some decedents leave a Will, and some do not. Others may have a “Living Trust” or leave their property in “joint tenancy”. All these are forms of “estate planning”, but it is important to understand that in ALL of these cases, some procedure is necessary to get the assets transferred to the proper beneficiaries. The plan must be carried out in compliance with the law. Likewise, if the deceased did not spell out their plans clearly in writing, or left their entire estate without any direction whatsoever, the courts will direct administration and distribution of the estate in accordance with the law. If that is not done, or done improperly, there can be unintended consequences and liability on the part of those who act for the estate. It can also result in more expense, grief and costly litigation.

To avoid the confusion and minimize the costs, Friendly Hills Law Center offers the solution.


Friendly Hills Law Center employs a legal and paralegal staff with a combined experience of over 75 years in trust and estate administration and related matters. Our office is now located in central Carlsbad with a satellite office in Whittier. Our services are offered to lay persons, as well as attorneys who may not be familiar with the estate or “probate” process, who need to hire a probate paralegal, attorney, or associate with counsel more experienced in these matters.

FHLC’s experienced staff can assist attorneys, those named as personal representatives, or others who are charged with handling a decedent’s trust/estate, from beginning to end. This includes the filing and service of any court papers that are required, inventorying of assets, obtaining the necessary appraisals, or referring you to knowledgeable appraisers or tax professionals, as needed, payment of creditors, formal and informal accountings, and final distribution of assets to the estate/trust beneficiaries. If conflicts among beneficiaries, other creditors, claimants or family members arise, FHLC will attempt to resolve these conflicts through negotiations, settlement, mediation or, if necessary, through court litigation. These comprehensive services will assist the attorney and representatives in completing their statutory duties in an efficient, cost effective and proper legal manner.

We’re here to help! Contact us at our website, or call our office so that we can discuss your matter with you and advise you what you need to do. Our office provides a one-hour initial consultation without charge.