Probate is the court proceeding that happens when someone dies without proper estate planning. In California, if an estate is larger than $150,000 and a trust is not created, the estate is subject to Probate.
The general purpose of probate is to collect and account for all the assets of the deceased; liquidate the assets into cash; attempt to negotiate a reduction and then pay all outstanding debts and taxes of the deceased and distribute the monies or assets per a will or to the immediate spouse/children/siblings/relatives of the deceased.
This means a few of things:
- You don’t get to decide who gets what
- It costs a lot of money (Probate fees are set by statute, the larger the estate, the higher the fee. An individual estate with one house and bank accounts could easily hit the $10,000 mark)
- You don’t get to decide who your minor children live with
- It could take more than a year to get everything settled- and that’s if there are no real complications.
Now, wouldn’t you rather sit down with one of our attorneys and create an estate plan that suits your needs where you get to decide what happens to your estate and children without the added cost to your loved ones once you’re gone?
Visit our estate planning attorney in San Mateo County, Santa Clara County or Alameda County.