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California Family Revocable Trusts

Wooden blocks with letters on them next to a gavel and moneyIn this article, you can discover:
  • The benefits of establishing a family revocable trust or ABC trust in California.
  • How to protect your assets and ensure a smooth transfer to your heirs.
  • Why a family revocable trust can be a key component of your estate plan.

What Are The Benefits Of A Family Revocable Trust, Also Known As An ABC Trust, In California?

For families in California, setting up a Family Revocable Trust, commonly called an ABC Trust, can be a game-changer. Why? It’s tailored to make the most of the tax breaks the IRS offers to married couples’ estates – but that’s not all. When you put your assets into this trust, they’re no longer in your name when you pass away. This clever move helps you sidestep probate, a lengthy and often costly court process that can drag on for up to two years in places like Monterey County. Avoiding probate means your loved ones can inherit without the headache of selling off assets just to cover probate fees.

What Exactly Is Probate, And When Is It Triggered In California?

Let’s break down probate. It’s the legal process that kicks in to manage an estate when there’s no trust in place. In California, this happens if someone dies intestate (without a will) or testate (with a will). The courts step in to make sure assets are passed on to the next generation or the rightful heirs. It’s a crucial step, but it can be a lengthy and complex one.

Which Assets Are Subject To Probate In California?

In California, there’s a bit of leeway with smaller estates. If someone passes away with personal property valued at less than $184,500, their assets can bypass probate. But here’s the catch: if there’s any real estate involved, regardless of its value, it has to go through probate if it’s not in a trust. So, whether it’s a modest home or a sprawling estate, probate is a must for transferring real estate to the heirs.

How Does The Probate Process Differ For Intestate (Without A Will) Versus Testate (With A Will) Estates In California?

The probate process takes a different turn depending on whether someone dies with or without a will. If there’s a will, the judge validates it and then follows the deceased’s wishes to distribute the assets. But if there’s no will, the judge turns to the California probate code to decide who inherits what. It’s a crucial distinction that impacts how an estate is handled.

What Are The Responsibilities Of The Executor Or Administrator Of An Estate During The Probate Process In California?

When a probate proceeding starts, the first order of business is appointing an executor to oversee the process. If there’s a will, it usually names the executor and some backups. If there’s no will, anyone can step up to the plate, but the judge will want to ensure they’re up to the task. The executor’s job is to take stock of the estate’s assets and debts, report their findings to the court, and then, based on the will or the probate code, propose how to distribute the estate. They’ll work closely with a probate referee, typically a local attorney, who helps ensure everything is done correctly before the judge gives the final nod.

How Long Does The Probate Process Usually Take In California?

In California, patience is key when it comes to probate. Most counties take over a year to wrap things up, and some can take up to two years, especially if there are complex assets or issues finding beneficiaries. The nature of the estate, from simple to complex, can speed up or slow down the process.

What Are The Typical Costs Associated With Probate In California, Including Court Fees And Attorney Fees?

Probate isn’t cheap. California has set fees for probate based on the total value of the assets being probated. The larger the estate, the higher the fees. These costs include court fees, the probate referee’s, the executor’s, and attorney’s fees. Plus, there are out-of-pocket expenses like filing and publication costs. All in all, the cost of a typical estate can run into thousands of dollars. For more information on the Benefits Of Family Revocable Trust In CA, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (831) 480-6608 today.
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