The majority of people who do estate litigation seek to avoid probate. In fact, part of avoiding probate involves having a savvy estate plan. estates must go through probate. Additionally, probate is not required if the assets in the estate are less than $100,000. California Probate Code section 1300.
Additionally, you may be able to exclude the following types of property from probate: (1) Property held in Joint Tenancy where upon the death of one of the joint tenants the property passes to the surviving joint tenant (2)Community property with right of survivorship whereupon death the community property passes to the survivor. (3) certain property held in trust; (4) joint checking and savings accounts; (5)Life insurance proceeds; (6) Retirement plans and annuities; (7) Other community and separate property that are transferred to a surviving spouse and certain other property.
If you can avoid formal probate, you may still be required to go through the court system. However, it is likely that you will be able to save money and reduce your workload if you can avoid the probate process. You should contact a Los Angeles probate attorney to determine what assets need to go through probate.