I was reading this article about Robin Williams’ estate. It is written by a Minnesota lawyer. I am not saying the story is “wrong” but it is a little misleading. Now that makes for better reading than a 100% accurate story of course. In this story they make a big deal about the high cost of probate in California. Yes, it is high. However, let’s look at the story:
1) It mentions a trust that Robin Williams’ allegedly had. It was called The Domus Dulcis Domus Holding Trust according to the story. If he had a trust and if the properties were in the trust then there would be no probate for these assets… unless someone brought a trust contest of some variety. In fact, you can Google that trust name and you will find hits for properties where Robin M. Williams was involved in the transaction. Thus, I think it’s fair to assume he really did have a trust!
2) The story talks about the high costs of probate. However, if Robin’s wife is to inherit, even if no trust, she could do a spousal property petition. This would be significantly cheaper than a full probate as there is no probate code fee schedule as there is for full probates.
It’s just examples but, to me, it changes the complexion of the story. To me the story could be written, “It appears Robin Williams had a trust and will thus avoid the high costs of California probate.” Not as sexy but, if it’s true, it would be a heck of a lot simpler.
By the way, totally off topic, but this appears to be Robin’s house (or one of his houses) and includes pictures. Wow, nice digs!