LEARN CA ESTATE LAWS
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WILLS & TRUSTS
In California, there are two types of wills that are recognized- statutory (or formal) and holographic (informal) wills. The former is typed, the latter is a hand-written will.
A living trust is a document that effectively places your assets into a trust, that lasts for your life. Once you pass, your loved ones can become the trustees and still enjoy the estate (assets).
An estate plan comprises of a will, a trust, a guardianship document (for minors), healthcare directives, and other documents that may address how specific matters are to be handled.
If your personal assets are worth $150,000 or more, you may have to go through the Probate Process, where the court will hear all sides of the arguments and decide how the assets should be distributed. The Probate Process is expensive, time-consuming and also stressful.
BE CLEAR & PRECISE
In California, a will needs to go through the Probate process. This means that the court will assess whether your will or trust describes it accurately.
It’s also important to ensure you can clearly identify your beneficiaries, and their relationship with absolute clarity as well.
Your estate documents will also need to address how your property is to be disposed off or distributed. What assets transfer to whom.
Probate is a process where the court will examine the contents of the will in reference to California Probate law in order to determine whether or not the will is valid. If it is valid, or portions of it are valid, those portions are carried out, and the remaining portion can be subject to the probate process with hearings and attorney representation.
Here are the key highlights on how the Probate process works:
THE PROBATE PROCESS
Probate is a court process that occurs in the Probate Court in front of a Probate Judge. This is a specialized court that deals with estate matters. You need to apply to the court for a hearing date and prepare your case to be heard by the Judge.
The probate process can last anywhere from 6 months (simple cases) to a few years (complex cases). Where someone passes away without a will or trust and have a substantial estate, it may also involve litigation.
COSTS AND EXPENSES
The cost associated with the probate process depends on the fair market value of the estate in question. Fees and costs are calculated on a sliding slade on the FMV, as a percent. In California, those numbers can add up quickly.
TAKE A SECOND TO FILL OUT THE FREE ESTATE PLANNER KIT TO UNDERSTAND HOW YOU CAN TAKE THE RIGHT STEPS TOWARDS PROTECTING YOUR ASSETS AND YOUR LOVED ONES.