Avoiding Probate

Probate is a mandatory process whereby a deceased person's estate is placed into the court system. The court makes sure that debts are paid and property is distributed according to the Will. People seek to avoid probate because it is costly, lengthy, and public.

A Living Trust avoids probate and is normally much less expensive, quicker, and private. A properly structured and funded Living Trust completely eliminates the court process and the associated costs and delays. learn more

probate issues

You can avoid probate with a Living Trust

Probate is a court process, with or without a Will, which determines the value and the distribution of a deceased person's property. The court, not the family, now has complete control of the assets in the deceased person's estate.

Based on studies conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons and the Wall Street Journal, probate may take anywhere from 9 months to 2 years to complete. Some probates take much longer. For example, Marilyn Monroe's probate took over 26 years.

A Will GUARANTEES Probate! - your heirs will have to wait more than a year to have access to their inheritance!

In California, the costs for probate include court costs, fees for the personal representative and fees for the estate attorney. The fees for the personal representative and the estate attorney are calculated by a formula set forth in the California Probate Code, which commence at 8% of the value of the decedent’s gross estate. In addition, both the personal representative and the estate attorney may receive additional fees for extraordinary services.

Attorney's fees are 

  • 4% of the first $100,000 of the estate
  • 3% of the next $100,000
  • 2% of the next $800,000
  • 1% of the next $9,000,000
  • 1/2% of the next $15,000,000

Executor fees are the same!

These fees do not include:

  • A $320 filing fee.
  • A $500 newspaper fee for publishing notice to creditors.
  • A court appointed appraisal.  fee is 1/10th of 1% of gross value of estate.

And, the attorney and the executor may petition the court for extraordinary fees!

So, the statutory fee for a simple $100,000 estate is 8%!! A $200,000 estate is $14,000, or 7% A typical million dollar estate including a house and savings would be $46,000, or 4.6 percent.

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