The probate process can prove challenging, especially in terms of lengthy time commitments and court-related expenses. Furthermore, probate disputes sometimes surface, fracturing family relationships. Those who wish to avoid probate should carefully review their options, such as setting up a living trust and other strategies to facilitate the transfer of assets without a probate proceeding.
From launching a business to tying the knot or losing a family member, certain life events underline the importance of planning ahead and making life easier for loved ones in the future.
Simplified procedures and probate court
The Judicial Council of California goes over various ways in which people can transfer assets in an estate while staying out of probate court. For example, the transferral of assets in estates with less than $166,250 could become possible without a probate case as a result of simplified procedures, such as determining if certain assets (bank accounts, pensions, etc.) have designated beneficiaries.
However, probate court sometimes becomes unavoidable when the informal transferral of part of an estate is not an option, and some people have difficulty determining whether an estate is eligible for simplified procedures.
Other potential ways to avoid probate court
The Judicial Council states that probate court is not always necessary for the distribution of assets held in a living trust. Also, probate is not always necessary for real estate transferrals and the inheritance of houses owned by multiple people.
From setting up a living trust to pursuing another estate planning strategy, those who wish to reduce the burden of probate or bypass it altogether should review all options on the table.