Archives for the ‘Probate Alternatives’ Category

Passage of Property to Spouse

When a husband or wife dies leaving property that passes to the surviving spouse, whether by intestate succession [see Prob. Code, § 6401] or by devise, the property ordinarily passes to the survivor without the necessity for administration. [Prob. Code, § 13500] File Petition in Probate Court and pay filing fees DE221 Notify children and […]

Small Estate Affidavit

For estates less than $150,000. Prepare a declaration by affidavit pursuant to California Probate Code Section 13100. The financial institution is obligated by California law to issue checks to the heirs and not the estate. This avoids probate

Alternatives to Probate

Overview An estate is all property owned by the person who has died (the “decedent”).  A decedent’s property includes life insurance proceeds on life insurance policies owned by the decedent. Administration of an estate is paying the debts of decedent, paying income taxes owed by the estate and decedent, paying estate taxes owed by the […]

Joint Tenancy

Joint Tenancy Joint tenancy is a way for two or more people to own property in equal shares so when one joint tenant dies the property passes to the surviving joint owner without having to go through probate court. A decedent’s ownership in a joint tenancy automatically transfers by operation of law to the surviving […]

Designated Beneficiary Contracts

Contracts with designated beneficiaries are life insurance policies, IRAs, Keoghs, and 401(k) accounts. Contracts between the owner of the asset and the financial institution are transferred by the owner designating the beneficiaries in writing to the financial institution. Legal title of these assets is transferred without probate. Benefits are paid directly by the financial institution […]

Assets Titled inTrust Avoid Probatte

Assets transferred into a Trust avoid probate A Trust is a contract between the creator of the Trust, (the “Settlor”) and a Trustee for the benefit of another person, (the “beneficiary”). The Trust is created while the person is living, hence the term “living trust.”  Typically at the date of creation of the Trust the […]