Is Probate Necessary?

Even if you've never done any estate planning, you have probably heard about probate and understand that it is almost never the ideal outcome. That being said, probate can't always be avoided. Keep reading to learn more about probate and when it might be necessary.

What Is Probate?

Probate is actually a very old area of law that is still in use today. Originally, when someone passed away, probate was a public call to the decedent's creditors to collect against the estate.

These days, the probate process essentially executes the same duties laid out in an estate plan. These include:

  • Proving that the decedent's will is valid
  • Creating an inventory of all property and having it appraised
  • Paying any remaining debts and taxes on behalf of the estate
  • Distributing property and assets in accordance with the will and/or trust

What makes probate undesirable in most cases is the fact that the process is overseen by a court. That often means more time, money and paperwork than would otherwise be required.

Can Probate Always Be Avoided?

While good estate planning can often avoid probate, this is not always possible. Here in California, if you have certain assets that total more than $150,000 at the time of death, your estate is subject to probate. This is true even if you have a will in place.

Probate may also be required if you own a piece of real property and have not included that property in a trust. With some planning and the help of a good lawyer, however, this scenario is preventable.

At Marissa Sirota Law, we are ready to answer all estate planning questions you may have and create an estate plan that minimizes legal snags and the costs associated with them. Attorney Marissa Sirota has extensive experience as a trial lawyer, but she believes that helping clients prevent court intervention is usually easier and more cost-effective. If probate proves to be necessary, our firm is ready to move your family through the process as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Contact Us To Discuss Your Estate Planning Needs

Marissa Sirota Law is located in Davis and serves clients in Yolo County and the surrounding communities. To discuss your case with an experienced attorney, call us at 530-379-4488 or fill out our online contact form.