The process of probate in California is a factor to consider when you are planning your estate. To understand the process of estate planning, you have to know a bit about probate. This is a legal process that can enter the equation after you pass away.
Most people assume that they should use a last will as a vehicle of asset transfer. This is certainly a possibility, but you should be aware of the fact that the will would be admitted to probate after your passing.
(A caveat would be that small estates that are valued at less than $150,000 could be administered through a simplified process.)
The process of probate is not inherently negative, and it can provide certain interested parties with protections. At the same time, it can complicate things for the rightful heirs to the estate.
Plus, probate is a public proceeding. You may want your final affairs be conducted confidentially for various different reasons.
In a general sense, you may not want everyone to know how you decided to distribute your resources. In a more specific sense, you may be aware of the fact that some people who are close to you may not be completely happy with your decisions.
Probate records are available to the general public, so anyone who has an interest can access these records and find out how you planned your estate. In addition, con-artists and others looking to get a windfall from your family have all the information about the family to facilitate their schemes.
The Waiting Game
The heirs that are named in the last will cannot receive their inheritances until the court has probated and closed the estate. Each case is different, and some are more complicated than others. A simple, straightforward case can pass through probate in perhaps nine months to a year.
Probate is not free. There are a number of different expenses that present themselves during probate, and probate costs reduce the amount of the inheritances that will ultimately be received by the heirs. It can cost up to 25% of the total value or deprive your family of 100% of their inheritance.
The expenses could include court costs, legal fees, accounting expenses, the executor’s remuneration, appraisal charges, liquidation fees, and other miscellaneous expenditures.
It is possible to utilize legal techniques to facilitate future asset transfers outside of the process of probate. You can explore your options if you discuss everything with an estate planning attorney.
Free Report on Probate
We have prepared a series of special reports that are available through this website. The reports cover many different estate planning and elder law topics, and you can learn a great deal if you absorb this information.
One of our reports specifically focuses on the probate process. If you would like to build on your knowledge, download your copy of the report.
All of our reports are free, and you can access any or all of them at your convenience. To get your copy of the report on the probate process, visit this page and follow the simple instructions: Los Angeles CA Probate Report.
To Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are interested in the possibility of working with our firm after learning these facts, please select our “Workshops” tab to RSVP for a free estate planning workshop. At that workshop you will be offered a free one-hour consultation with an attorney: www.collinslawgroup.com/seminars/