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What assets can forego probate?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Estate Administration And Probate |

When estate planning, one of the most vital details for you to review is which parts of your estate may undergo probate. This legal process can be lengthy and may involve various procedures, such as organizing your properties, appraising them, paying off any debt you left behind and distributing your assets to your rightful inheritors. Despite being a standard step when someone dies, it can be costly, possibly taking a considerable dent from your estate’s total value.

Usually, people use different estate planning tools to avoid subjecting their properties to probate, giving them more control over what happens to their estate. But sometimes, the assets already meet conditions to forego probate depending on the circumstances, including the following:

  • Indicating specific beneficiaries for certain retirement plans, insurance policies or bank accounts
  • Owning real estate properties jointly with another person, providing right of survivorship after you pass on
  • Creating beneficiary deeds before your death, allowing the asset transfers to happen without going through probate
  • Establishing specific trust arrangements created to contain assets

In California, an estate can forego probate altogether if it is eligible for the simplified process based on size and details. Still, depending on the circumstances, specific parts of the estate may need to go through this process.

Knowing your estate planning options

Sometimes, you have no way to avoid probate and its associated fees. If you have this goal, you can incorporate specific estate planning tools to cover your properties. You can also seek legal guidance when determining appropriate options based on what you need. Additionally, these steps can help give you the peace of mind that your estate will be administered according to your wishes even when you are no longer around.

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