Does all property go through probate when a person dies?
No. The term “probate estate” refers to any property subject to the authority of the probate court. Assets distributed outside the probate process are part of a person’s “non-probate estate.”California has “simplified procedures” for transferring property for estates worth under a certain amount (from $20,000 to $100,000 depending on the circumstances and the kind of property).There is also an easy way to transfer property to a surviving spouse, property held in Joint Tenancy and life insurance and retirement benefits.
Do life insurance or retirement benefits need to go through probate?
No. The benefits can be paid directly to a named beneficiary. Money from IRAs, Keoghs, and 401(k) accounts transfer automatically to the persons named as beneficiaries. Bank accounts that are set up as pay-on-death accounts (PODs) or “in trust for” accounts (a “Totten Trust”) with a named beneficiary also pass to the beneficiary without probate.
Do living trusts go through probate?
No. When a living trust holds title to some of the decedent’s property, that property also passes to the beneficiaries without probate.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Am I responsible for paying the rest of my deceased spouse’s bill?
- Are holographic wills valid in California?
- Do I have to leave assets to my children equally?
- Do I have to use a lawyer for the probate process?
- Does all property go through probate when a person dies?
- Does an executor or administrator receive compensation?
- Does the Court supervise the personal representative?
- How are taxes handled in probate?
- How can an estate plan avoid a conservatorship?
- How can I find out if there was a Will?
- How can I protect my children?
- How do creditors get paid?
- How long does probate take?
- How much does probate cost?
- How should I prepare to meet with my estate planning attorney?
- How will the debts of the decedent affect the beneficiaries?
- If I am named as executor in a Will, do I have to serve?
- If I establish a revocable living trust, will I lose control over my assets?
- If I serve as executor, will I get paid?
- If I transfer title to real property to my living trust, does the bank have the right to accelerate my mortgage?
- Is a will that was prepared in another state valid in California?
- Is it necessary to amend my will if I wish to bequeath certain assets to specific family members or friends?
- Is it possible to appoint a corporate trustee?
- Is my trust, which has title to my property, immune from lawsuits?
- Is probate necessary?
- Must I transfer all of my assets to my living trust?
- My child is married, and I don’t trust my child’s spouse. In the event they divorce, how can the inheritance be kept separate?
- Should estate planning documents be kept in a safe deposit box at a bank?
- Should I choose simplified probate procedures?
- Should I include a Medi-Cal planning section in my estate plan?
- What are disclaimer trusts and A-B trusts?
- What are the responsibilities of an executor or administrator?
- What does the Personal Representative do?
- What happens if the personal representative fails to perform his or her duty?
- What if someone dies and I have the Will in my possession?
- What if someone objects to the Will?
- What if the decedent owned land in more than one state?
- What if there is no Will or I cannot find a Will?
- What is a durable power of attorney?
- What is a pour-over will?
- What is a self-proving will?
- What is Probate?
- What is the best way to title pay-on-death bank accounts, retirement accounts and life insurance policies?
- What is the purpose of a life insurance trust?
- What would be the outcome if I became mentally disabled, and had no estate plan in place, or only had a will?
- When can a Will be contested?
- Who can and cannot be the personal representative?
- Who can contest a Will?