Is Probate Always Necessary?

Taking Steps to Avoid Probate in Los Angeles, CA

Whether you are interested in helping your family to avoid probate after your passing or you are hoping to avoid probate when administering a loved one's estate, it is important to understand that this process is not always necessary. In fact, there are certain steps that you can take to avoid probate entirely. By discussing the specific nature of your case with the Los Angeles trust administration lawyer at the Law Offices of David A. Shapiro, P.C., you can take steps to avoid the hassle, time and money involved in probate. While there are a number of different ways that you can accomplish this, it is imperative that you find a solution that is right for both you and your family. For this reason, you should not hesitate to schedule a free initial consultation with our firm today.

If you are interested in avoiding probate, there are a few options that you can explore:

  • Living Trusts: In California, virtually all assets that are owned through a living trust will be exempt from probate—which may include real estate, bank accounts vehicles, etc. While this is similar to a will, you will need to name someone to take over the trust after your death.
  • Joint Ownership: If you own property jointly with someone else, and this ownership includes the right of survivorship, the surviving owner will automatically own the property after your passing. Probate would not be necessary to transfer the property to the other owner.
  • POD Designation: When you add a "payable-on-death" (POD) designation to certain bank accounts, the designated beneficiary would be able to claim the money directly from the bank after your death. Probate court proceedings would not be necessary.
  • TOD Registration: In California, you can register your vehicles, stocks and bonds in "transfer-on-death" (TOD) form. This means that a designated beneficiary would automatically inherit these assets after your death. Probate would not be necessary to transfer the property.
  • Simplified Probate: In cases where probate cannot be avoided, simplified probate procedures may still be initiated. For example, surviving spouses may be able to file a spousal property petition for a change of ownership. It takes far less time than traditional proceedings.
  • Small Estate Exemptions: In California, small estates are typically not probated. As long as the value of the estate does not exceed $100,000, or some of the assets are not "probate assets" (i.e. life insurance, living trust, 401(k), IRA), it would not need to go through probate.

Law Offices of David A. Shapiro, P.C. Will Review Your Case for Free

Still have questions? If so, you should not hesitate to explore your options with the help of a Los Angeles probate attorney from the Law Offices of David A. Shapiro, P.C. We are well-versed in all aspects of probate and trust administration, so you can trust that your future will be in good hands when you turn to our firm for help. When you call our office at (310) 853-1554 or fill out a free case evaluation form online, your initial consultation won't cost you a thing. For this reason, you would have nothing to lose by taking the first step today. There is no need to face these complex legal matters alone when the legal team at the Law Offices of David A. Shapiro, P.C. is here to help.

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