Dealing with probate can be a long and frustrating process. In our latest post, learn how to avoid probate court in Southern California!
Nobody wants to have to go through the probate process. By planning ahead, people are able to avoid probate, giving their families the peace of mind they need when dealing with a sad and difficult situation.
Why Avoid Probate?
There are a number of reasons why people want to avoid probate in Southern California. First of all, there are the fees. Attorney fees, appraisal fees, court costs, and executor fees can all add up fast Oftentimes, the executor will waive their fee in an effort to maintain fairness amongst the family. In addition, the probate process can often be very time-consuming. All of the assets and heirs will need to be accounted for, with proper notice being provided. Debts will need to be paid and settled before any inheritances are passed on to the beneficiaries. All in all, going through the probate process isn’t something anyone wants to deal with if they don’t have to.
Using A Trust
A person can set up a trust to ensure their assets will not be subject to the probate process. By setting up a revocable living trust a person can ensure items contained therein will not be subject to the probate process. The trust will need to be set up while the person is of sound mind and able to decide for themselves what will go into the trust. The trust can be thought of like a bucket, all assets the individual wants to place in the trust will then be set aside and managed accordingly.
When a person buys a home with someone else, they can enter a joint ownership agreement. With the right of survivorship. the property is passed to the surviving owner, without having to go through the probate process. It’s important to set this up when purchasing a property as adding someone to the deed after the fact may cost money.
Many times when setting up a bank account or life insurance policy, you will assign a beneficiary. By doing this, these items will not be subject to the probate process. A few states will allow you to create a transfer-on-death certificate for real estate you own, transferring the property after you die. Be sure that you keep your beneficiary designations up to date. Many people fail to make these changes after a divorce or after someone passes. This can lead to your ex getting everything or the asset having to go through the probate process.
Giving It All Away
Before you die, you can consciously “give away” the majority of your assets to family members or other beneficiaries. If you don’t own the asset when you pass away, it won’t have to go through the probate process. Many assets, specifically items worth 11k or less can be given away without any federal tax penalty. You can gift a person this amount once per year and in doing so, you can significantly reduce the value of your assets that go through the probate process.
In certain states, it can be easier to avoid probate if the person passing away has only a small estate. To be considered small, the amount of the estate will vary based on where you live.
It can be very beneficial for heirs to avoid the probate process in Los Angeles, Orange or Riverside counties or anywhere in Southern California. Between the fees, costs, and stress, the process can be daunting and overwhelming.
Selling An Inherited Home
Homesmith Group is always committed to saving the Estate time so it minimizes its fees and expenses. We can buy the home, pay all cash, buy the property in as-is condition, and close the sale in less than 14 days or whenever is convenient for the heirs.
We hope you understand that, with the California Independent Administration of Estates Act (IAEA), heirs can sell the property and do not have to wait for a completion of probate. The IAEA was enacted in 1987 and it can grant the personal representative of a decedent’s estate authority to take action on behalf of the estate without having to obtain prior court approval to do so.
If the property is going to be sold and the personal representative has been awarded “full authority,” there is no reason to go through the entire court confirmation process, run up extra attorney and miscellaneous fees, and pay real estate commissions, etc.
If you want to learn more about how to avoid probate in Southern California, reach out to us today!
California Probate Attorney Summarizes Probate Process
For a quick summary to help with the understanding of how to sell a probate house in California, watch the following video featuring Paul Horn, Probate Attorney and State Bar Certified Specialist, of the Paul Horn Law Group based in Cerritos, Calif. Paul explains the key elements of the process. He can be reached directly at www.PaulHornLawFirm.com with any questions.
For more information on Inherited Houses and the Probate Process in California, contact Homesmith Group and we’ll get back to you withing 24 hours to see how we can help!