California's estate laws provide you with tools that can help you quickly pass along your assets to beneficiaries after you pass away. Revocable living trusts allow grantors, the people creating the trusts, to pass along their assets without difficulty.
Your assets may go through probate court if you die without a will or trust in place. Unfortunately, the supervised probate process is time-consuming and may cause infighting among your loved ones.
Supervised probate is a difficult process. Instead of getting to choose what your beneficiaries receive from your estate, the court will make those choices based on California law. As a result, the process involved with probate court could take months or even years. This means that your loved ones would not receive your assets for many months after your death. In fact, some probates can take more than three years.
What Can Delay the California Probate Process?
Exactly how long the probate process takes depends on the circumstances surrounding your estate and other affairs before you pass. Factors that could delay the probate process include:
- A greater number of heirs
- Having to file an estate tax return
- Choosing an inexperienced representative or estate lawyer
- Infighting among heirs
- A greater number of assets or unusual assets
- Financial problems before death
There are cases where your loved ones can petition the probate court to release certain assets, such as money for college tuition, before the probate process concludes. Unfortunately, there are costs that may be involved with petitioning the court, such as legal fees.
The probate process has additional downsides. First, what happens in probate court is on public record. You cannot expect privacy if your matters after death go through the probate court system. The probate process also has a nasty reputation of causing siblings and family members to turn against each other while fighting over assets.
Fortunately, you can help your loved ones avoid this fate by establishing a solid estate plan while you are still alive.
Using a Revocable Living Trust
You can establish a revocable living trust while you are still alive. As the grantor, you can iron out the terms of the trust, meaning you decide who gets your assets and not the probate court. This will allow you to pass your assets along as you wish. Best of all, you allow family members to avoid the time-consuming probate process by establishing a living trust.
If for any reason you want to make changes to the terms, such as adding a new family member/beneficiary, then you can alter the trust without much difficulty.
Contact Our Upland Trust Administration Lawyer
Our Upland trust administration lawyer can help you determine your options for avoiding the California probate process. We can also help administer the trust after you pass away.
If you have questions about your options, then we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our office. You can schedule a consultation with Family First Estate Planning Law Center by dialing (714) 591-0640 or by using the contact form on our website.