In California, if the decedent’s assets are worth no more than $150,000, beneficiaries of a Will or the heirs of a decedent may be able to gain title to the assets through a Small Estate Administration. This process is an easier alternative to probate but has restrictions. For instance, if the decedent’s assets, including real property, are worth more than $150,000, then the estate must go through the expensive and time consuming process of probate. A Will alone is not enough to avoid the cost of probate. Therefore, without adequate assessment of the worth of your assets, do not reject the idea of having a Trust in place. If your assets such as real property, stocks, business, and/or bank accounts are worth more than $150,000, a Trust can be crucial in avoiding probate and allowing the Trustor to specify disposition of assets, designate specific beneficiaries for all the assets, and appointing trustees to manage the assets.
Here at Chauvel & Glatt, we will prepare an estate plan and review your assets to determine if you also need a Trust. To learn how our attorneys can assist you with your estate planning or other legal needs, contact us today.