Probate Attorneys in Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County.

At Cristiano & Lillard, our lawyers handle the probate and estate administration needs of individuals and families in an efficient and cost-effective manner while providing compassionate client service. We represent clients throughout Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties and we offer free phone consultations as well.


Probate and Estate Administration – An Overview

Estate administration refers to the process of probating the estate of a decedent, which generally includes collecting, inventorying and appraising assets; paying and collecting debts; filing and paying estate taxes; and distributing any remaining assets to beneficiaries. An experienced probate and estate administration attorney from Cristiano & Lillard can help simplify this complicated process. If you need help in the administration of an estate, call today.

  • Although every probate estate is unique, most involve the following steps:
  • Filing of a petition with the proper probate court.
  • Notice to heirs under the Will or to statutory heirs (if no Will exists).
  • Petition to appoint Executor (in the case of a Will) or Administrator for the estate.
  • Inventory and appraisal of estate assets by Executor/Administrator.
  • Payment of estate debt to rightful creditors.
  • Sale of estate assets.
  • Payment of estate taxes, if applicable.
  • Final distribution of assets to heirs.

Role of the Executor

An executor is the person named by the creator of the will (the testator) to carry out the terms and provisions of his or her will. In addition to locating documents left by the testator (i.e., wills, trusts, deeds, etc.) and notifying Social Security, pension providers, annuity providers, and other entities of the death, the executor has numerous other legal responsibilities.

Will Contests

The fact that a person (the decedent) leaves a will does not guarantee that the decedent’s property will be distributed according to the will’s terms. A court generally must provide an opportunity to allow others to object to the will, and a challenge may be brought by anyone with an interest in the will or estate who believes the document is invalid in some way. A will contest is an action challenging the validity of the will and is commonly governed by the California Probate Code.

Probate and Estate Administration Resource Links

Uniform Probate Code

Maintained by Cornell University Law School, this site identifies the states that have adopted, at least in part, the Uniform Probate Code. Links are also provided to each state’s version of the code.​

Internal Revenue Service

The IRS web site has information on the federal estate tax, including information on recent reforms to estate tax laws.


This page is maintained by the H.E.L.P. organization, and provides an overview of the executor’s, personal representatives’, and trustee’s estate administration responsibilities.

Probate Legal Services in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties

Our firm is ready to assist you with experienced probate legal services in: Covina, West Covina, Diamond Bar, Glendora Rancho Cucamonga, La Verne, Upland, Claremont, Cerritos, Temecula, Pasadena, Murrieta, Hemet, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Perris, Canyon Lake, Menifee, Sun City, Moreno Valley, Nuevo, Riverside, San Jacinto and throughout the Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

Contact us to speak with one of our attorneys. We offer a free initial phone consultation and accept credit card payment by Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Payment options are also available.