Trusts and Estates Blog

Should I Avoid Probate?

Senior couple meeting with agentWhen settling the estate of a loved one, most times friends and family will face the reality of probate. While avoidable, most estates enter probate and face a months-long process of settling the estate through probate court. This process can become costly and time-consuming, and can prolong the grieving process for many people.

Many times I’m asked the question of how to avoid probate and is it worth avoiding? In most every case the answer is yes, probate is worth avoiding. Probate rarely benefits loved ones and those handling the estate. Beneficiaries usually suffer and must pay time and money to settle the estate. Probate can be avoided by some careful planning.

When should you spend your time and money on avoiding probate? The simple answer is before you die. However, your age and health will be a factor in how your planning is set up.

Consider a few factors—your age, health, and wealth. If you are young and in relatively good health, planning will generally be very conservative due to the fact that the laws will likely change many times in the decades (we hope) before you need to implement your plan. If you are over 60, in poor health, or have a considerable amount of property, planning now to avoid probate may be a wise investment of your time and money. In this second category, planning will generally be slightly more aggressive, with the likelihood of the plan being implemented sooner under laws that are in effect today. In other words, the sooner your plan will be implemented, the more certainty we have in our planning to lower your estate’s costs and death taxes.

If you would like more information concerning estate planning, including learning how to avoid probate, contact Antelope Valley estate planning law firm Thompson | Von Tungeln (TVT) at 661-945-5868 or visit their websites at www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.comwww.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com and www.Medi-CalHelp.com. www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com is a comprehensive online resource for personal wealth management solutions through wills and revocable trusts. www.Medi-CalHelp.com is a comprehensive online resource for long term nursing home care for the middle class. As Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, partners Mark E. Thompson and Kevin L. Von Tungeln are expertly equipped to serve clients with the creative, effective and custom solutions they deserve.

Does All Property Have to Go Through Probate?

Last Will and Testament XSmallMost people fear the probate process and wish to avoid it at all costs. True, the probate process can lengthen the grieving process for the death of a loved one and prolong the settling of the estate, but for the most part it is a necessary process after a loved one has passed on. While it is necessary, you can avoid certain headaches and worries in the probate process by knowing a few simple facts.

“Does all my property have to be claimed in probate court and go through the process of probate after I pass on?” I’ve been asked this question many times, and thankfully there is a welcomed answer for those asking it.

In many states, a set amount of property value does not have to face probate. For example, in the state of California, up to $100,000 in properties can be passed to other family members or beneficiaries without enduring the full blown probate process. If the property is left to a surviving spouse, there is also a simpler transfer process that the state of California allows.

Also, any properties passed outside of a will through joint custody or a living trust does not have to be claimed in probate court and can be settled outside of probate.

If you would like more information concerning estate planning, including learning how to avoid probate, contact Antelope Valley estate planning law firm Thompson | Von Tungeln (TVT) at 661-945-5868 or visit their websites at www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.comwww.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com and www.Medi-CalHelp.com. www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com is a comprehensive online resource for personal wealth management solutions through wills and revocable trusts. www.Medi-CalHelp.com is a comprehensive online resource for long term nursing home care for the middle class. As Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, partners Mark E. Thompson and Kevin L. Von Tungeln are expertly equipped to serve clients with the creative, effective and custom solutions they demand.

Trusts and Estates Blog