An estate planning goal for many is to find tools that help to reduce the need for probate, which is the settling of a deceased person’s estate. For example, you may bypass probate, or a portion of it, by creating and funding a living trust.
However, all states have unique estate and probate laws, so you need to learn about them to use effective strategies. Since many of these laws look similar, you may learn more by discovering what is different about probate in California.
Fees and expenses
Unfortunately, the Golden State tends to have higher overall probate fees than most other areas. Here, you can expect your executor to face significant costs that may come out of your estate through nearly every stage of the probate process. Many other states charge fewer fees, and/or the ones they have may be less expensive.
If you fear the cost of probate will take money away from your loved ones, ask an estate planning professional about possible ways to lessen the time and steps of probate.
In some states, probate can be completed in just a few weeks if there are no complications. However, it can take months or sometimes years to finish probate in California. One reason it can take so long is that creditors have four months to make a claim on the estate, which could prolong the process.
An extended probate process could also cause hardships for your family. This is another reason to implement estate provisions that bypass it.
California probate can be more complex, time-consuming and expensive than elsewhere, but with experienced legal guidance, you make wise decisions.