Many high net worth individuals have worked very hard to accumulate wealth and build something of value that they can pass on to their families once they are gone. However, their heirs may be faced with exorbitant tax bills associated with this transfer of wealth when the time comes.
It may be a difficult subject to navigate, but when it comes to estate planning, there are certain steps you should take now to avoid probate. Probate—the court proceedings that transfer ownership of an estate from the decedent to their benefactors upon death—is a timely and costly process that can take a toll on grieving families. Probate can also be incredibly confusing and take months or years to sort out. And because it is a court proceeding, it becomes public record. The good news is, depending on your assets, there are several things you can do to avoid probate proceedings. Here are five ways to avoid it in California:
The probate process involves the court distributing a person’s assets upon death. It usually occurs in situations where a person does not have a will. However, just because a person has a will does not mean that their assets will definitely not be distributed through the probate process. What to Do to Prevent Your Assets … Read moreCan I Make Sure My Assets Are Not Distributed Through the Probate Process?
Sitting down and having a discussion about what will happen to your assets and finances after you pass away is certainly not an easy thing to do, but it’s something that should be done. You should start your estate planning as early as your graduation from college, and especially once you’re married with children.
When you pass away, most likely your estate will pass through the probate process. This process is the official way your estate is settled through the supervision of probate in California. The estate is frozen until the court determines the Will is valid, all relatives have been notified and that all of the property in the estate is identified. The court will also ensure that creditors and taxes are paid. Once that is all done, an Order is issued by the court for the distribution of the remaining assets. If you die without a will, the court will determine who is appointed as the administrator of the estate and will determine who receives your assets based on a “family tree” of surviving relatives.