Probate in California is the legal process whereby the Probate Court supervises the distribution of assets of someone who has died with a will OR a person who has died without a will or turst (i.e. intestate). The Court also determines the validity of creditor’s claims and sees that taxes are paid. After all the decedent’s assets are inventoried and valued, and debts and taxes paid, the Court distributes the decedent’s assets in accordance with the will or in the case of no will, according to the Probate Code provisions for intestate heirs.
What assets are subject to probate?
1. Assets that are in the name of the decedent.
2. One-half of each community property asset owned by the decedent and spouse.
3. The decedent’s interest in real property owned with others as tenants in common.
4. Personal property of the decedent such as cars, furniture, artwork, books, etc.
What assets are not subject to probate?
1. Assets held in a revocable living trust.2. Assets held in joint tenancy with other joint tenants.
3. Assets which have designated “payable on death” beneficiaries or “transfer on death” beneficiaries.
4. Assets held with your spouse as community property with right of survivorship.
5. Assets with named beneficiaries such as life insurance, IRAs, retirement plans, and pensions.
Many people have difficulty handling a probate by themself. There are many deadlines and tasks that people have to do as an executor or an administrator that they feel more comfortable with retaining a lawyer to assist them.. The estate planning lawyers at Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation can help you with the probate procedure. Call us if you have a loved one who has passed away with a will or without a will or trust and we will help you get through the process with ease.