Avoid Probate

Avoid Probate California

The cost of going to Probate Court can be tolling, and because of that, many people do whatever they can to avoid Probate Court in California.  There are many options in many states however, in California these are popular choices:

1. Living Trust –

Use www.estatelda.com  to help you create a Living Trust.  Did you know that in California, you may try to avoid probate for almost any asset you own like, real estate, bank accounts, vehicles and much more…  You can help you to create a Trust that names a trusted person to take over your estate, after you pass. You call this person a successor trustee.  After creating your Trust, you must transfer the assets you have into that Trust, for which you are the Trustee.

  • A simple way to thin about this is that you have bought a special vehicle that only you can drive until you are dead. After you have passed, only the person you name in advance, may drive that vehicle for you, and they must drive it according to a map that you drew, giving pieces of that vehicle out as they drive, until it is depleted.
  • Your chosen driver, the Successor Trustee will transfer everything, according to your wishes, from the name of your Trust, into the names of the beneficiaries, without Probate.

2. POD Bank Accounts –

Payable on Death is another way to avoid Probate Court. Creating a POD designation at your bank is another popular method and typically requires no special fees.  All of the money in these accounts remains at your disposal and the POD beneficiary can transfer any remaining funds into their account after your passing with a copy of a Death Certificate.

3. TOD Securities –

Securities are important and they can also be kept out of Probate by using a Transfer on Death Registration, this is available in California for both stocks and bonds.

4. TOD Real Estate Deeds –

According to California Probate Code § 5620, Transfer on Death Real Estate Deeds can be used to avoid Probate. The beneficiary would have no right to any property until after your death and you retain full rights over the property until you pass.  Another common term for these deeds is Beneficiary Deeds.

5. TOD Vehicle Registration –

The Transfer on Death Vehicle Registration is allowed in California, and processed through the DMV, or in some cases AAA. The vehicle in question will automatically transfer to the named person after your death, without the need for Probate Court.  However, there may be some documentation required by the DMV.

6. Property Joint Ownership –

The “Right of Survivorship” clause may automatically protect a survivor after a passing, as the property would automatically transfer over to that surviving person.  Probate may be avoided in this situation, with the proper paperwork being provided to the County and Mortgage company.

  • Joint Tenancy and Community Property with Right of Survivorship are two California types of Joint Ownership.
  • In Community Property with Right of Survivorship, spouses and domestic partners are thought to own all property acquired during a marriage, unless there are legal steps taken to intentionally avoid this. If spouses or domestic partners hold title to assets as community property with the right of survivorship, then it may automatically pass to the survivor when one person passes.
  • Also, property held in Joint Tenancy may automatically pass to the survivor without the need for Probate Court. This process does work you’ll when both partners hold equal shares in the property in question, real estate, bank accounts, vehicles, and other assets.