What Triggers Probate in California?
Before you can determine if an asset is probate-eligible for California, you must first identify exactly what will trigger probate. Certain assets, such as life insurance, IRAs and 401Ks, will not trigger probate. Other assets will not be subject to probate if they are part of a joint tenancy or living trust.
California probate law allows for the designation of a successor executor of a decedent’s estate. This designation can be made in a will and can name the person who will carry out the deceased’s wishes. The court will appoint an administrator to manage the estate if there is not a will. This person can be either a California resident or a US citizen. A close family member can also be designated as the executor.
Probate is a court-supervised process to ensure that assets are properly distributed after the death of a person. Probate is required for assets exceeding $166,250 and real estate above $55,425 that have no beneficiary designation. Probate can be costly and time-consuming. It is also a public process.
When a person dies, the assets in their estate must be probated if they are valued at $150,000 or more. If there is no will, the assets will be given to the spouse. This is a lengthy and costly process. The probate court will also try to collect any assets or debts that the deceased may have owed. The remaining money will be distributed to the beneficiaries.
In California, real estate that passes from one parent to another is often exempt from probate. California is a property state. This means that married spouses and registered domestic partners own all property acquired during the marriage jointly. The community property with right to survivorship automatically passes to the surviving spouse upon the death of one spouse. A revocable transfer upon death deed can be used to transfer real property to avoid probate. This type of transfer expires on January 1, 2021.
Consider making lifetime gifts if your goal is to avoid probate upon your death. These gifts are also known as inter vivos gifts. But, lifetime gifts can have tax consequences. They may not be refundable, for example. You should also consider whether the gifts will trigger probate in California.
A will is impossible to make
Creating and filing a will is a fundamental legal process for people who want to inherit someone else’s estate. The failure to do so will trigger probate, which means that creditors can pursue claims against the estate. A lack of a will can be very stressful for the estate administrator, as there can be several competing claims for the estate. A failure to file a Will can lead to criminal prosecution.
In a California probate case, when a person dies without leaving a will, the probate court will determine what will happen to the deceased’s estate. This will allow the court decide who will inherit the estate and settle any outstanding debts. The court may also appoint a professional to administer the intestate estate.