Probate is the court supervised process for (1) gathering, inventorying and appraising the decedent’s assets, (2) determining and paying the debts of the decedent (3) paying the decedent’s taxes and (4) distributing the assets of the estate to the identified heirs. Avoiding probate is usually desirable because probate can be confusing, expensive, time consuming and can take a number of years to complete, delaying the distribution of property to the heirs. In Southern California, it is estimated that Probates take 1 year to 18 months to complete. And, it could take even longer due to state mandated furloughs, which periodically close the courts during the normal scheduled work week.
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Estate Planning 101: Breaking Down the Documents
Estate Planning 101: Why Should I Have an Estate Plan?
Every person, no matter your net worth, should have an individual Estate Plan in place. Why? Because if not the state determines how your property will pass to your heirs. This is called the laws of intestacy. Unfortunately, in many cases under the the law of intestacy assets of the decedent are passed to loved ones and others in a manner the decedent would not have wished. When estates are above a minimum size and assets are pass to heirs without a trust in place (through intestacy or by way of will), the assets will be subject to probate.
Later this week: Estate Planning 101: What is Probate and Why it Should be Avoided
Click here is you missed: Estate Planning 101: Breaking Down the Documents