New Years Resolution: Avoid Probate Court When I Die

You probably aren’t the only person with the New Years Resolution to Avoid Probate Court When you Die.  It’s pretty standard for organized adults to want to provide for their loved ones when they die and they want to do it in the most efficient manner possible. The most efficient manner possible is to avoid a stop at the probate court after death.  Probate court is expensive and time consuming.  How can you take care of your New Year’s Resolution and avoid probate court for your loved ones?

For most people, in California, the single best way to avoid probate court after death is to get a revocable “living” trust. The living, or as some call it “loving,” trust is a great way of showing your love for your family.  Yes it costs money to set up a proper living trust package but the savings, in time and money, can be significant.

Let me give you a quick example for comparison sake.

A single person dies with a house worth $500,000 and a mortgage of $300,000 on that house, a car worth $15,000 and $35,000 in the bank.  The fees and costs to probate this, are mostly laid out in the California probate code, and would total approximately $30,000!  Yes, between the attorney, the administrator and the court costs the total for this very typical California estate would cost about $30,000 to probate. Also, these days it’s taking 8-12 months in different counties after Covid has reeked havoc on the California probate court system.

The same single person can set up a living trust package, with a highly experienced estate planning attorney, at a cost of $2,500.  A living trust can be distributed immediately after death and can be done with little or no cost.

Take care of your affairs, take care of your loved ones, take care of your estate plan! If you need help contact us and we can help!

-John Palley

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