A well-designed estate plan should be clear enough to prevent an estate from having to go to probate court. Unfortunately, even the best estate plan can result in legal challenges during probate. Under California law, there are some circumstances in which an estate can go to probate. Here are some of those instances.
What is probate?
Probate is the legal process under which someone’s property is divided up among heirs and descendants. It can be as simple as confirming the validity of a will and inventorying property, or it can be extremely complicated, controversial, and drawn out. All of this depends on how an individual’s estate was structured and whether they had a will in the first place. Furthermore, if there is controversy surrounding the deceased’s will, or if the survivors believe that the will is invalid, the case can be extended during the conflict.
When is the probate process necessary?
Under estate administration and probate law in California, a will goes to probate when the dead person’s property is worth more than $166,250. Furthermore, the case must go to probate if it doesn’t meet any of the qualifications for a simplified procedure under California law.
If you are involved in a probate matter, legal counsel may walk you through the steps necessary to resolve the case. Probate can be a confusing area of law, so it may be helpful to work with legal counsel who understands these issues.
Probate can be time-consuming and expensive for heirs who have to deal with the process. The best way to prevent a case from going to probate is to design your estate so that it leaves no questions.