Swerdloff Law Firm April 2018


www.lawwithasmile.com • 310-577-9104

APRIL 2018


In my early years of practice, I found myself in court frequently on behalf of my clients. In addition to keeping the office running, it was a difficult task to keep up with all the aspects of litigation. That’s one of the reasons I got into estate planning 20 years ago. I wanted to spend more time with my clients and less time doing the court runaround. Now, things have come full circle. I find myself back in court, going into downtown LA to the central probate courts. What’s changed? My perspective. The difference now is in my experience and having the aid of experienced paralegals. I’m no longer on my own. With the support of paralegals who’ve worked in the court system for many years, we’re able to generate all of the paperwork required. It’s a significant part of the process, and it’s a huge weight to have taken off my shoulders. In the past couple of years, I’ve worked with some outstanding probate paralegals, and I’m grateful for this added support as an attorney. It also helps that our court system in LA has become more efficient. Our courts have become more centralized and the quality of our judges and attorneys has improved as budget concerns have eased. The process is more enlightened, which makes it much easier to navigate and prepare to get the results you want for your client. Probate can be a challenging time for families. Often, a client or their family hasn’t created a trust, and they have assets that need to be transferred to beneficiaries. To do

this, a probate has to be opened in probate court. It can be a rather long and difficult process, taking anywhere from six months to two years to go through probate. It often requires several appearances in court, in addition to the volumes of paperwork and accounting that it takes to get through it. There’s a lot of potential for estates to get held up in probate, but with the right team, things can be much smoother. A family I worked with recently was able to find this successful closure for their loved one’s assets. Their family member, a bachelor in California, died with a substantial estate and no estate plan. The family all lived on the East Coast, and they faced many stressful trips across the country. Thankfully, our firm helped them avoid those trips. We were able to appoint one of the family members as a special administrator,

and from there, we successfully marshaled all the assets and made them available to be distributed to the beneficiaries. It saved the family a great deal of trouble. Instead of them having to come to LA frequently, we were able to do the work on our end to keep them informed and on top of the paperwork. It was a successful conclusion to a case that could've been much more costly in terms of time and money. I hope your family never has to experience the agonies of probate. If you find yourself there, though, due to circumstances beyond your control, you’ll need an experienced lawyer. I’m here to help, whether that means representing your probate case or helping you set up an estate plan so you don’t have to worry about it.

–Arthur J. Swerdloff


www.lawwithasmile.com • 310-577-9104

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