Is California Probate Always Necessary?

It's natural to have questions about the probate process, especially if you are exploring alternatives to probate. You may be wondering many things:

  • Is California probate always necessary?
  • If your loved one has died leaving a small estate, do you still have to go through the full probate process, so that the assets of the estate are distributed in an orderly fashion?
  • Will you have to wait months to complete the process, and incur significant expense, even though the assets in the estate are simple and easy to divide?
  • Do you have to go through the probate process, just because there is real estate that must pass?

In situations like this, the best results come from having an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to guide you, someone who knows the law and process, who can help you take the right steps to protect yourself and any other interested parties.

At the Law Office of Barbara J. Dibble, I have comprehensive knowledge of the laws and procedures, and can quickly assess your case and determine whether you need to submit the estate to the probate court. I have built my practice on a commitment to personal service and attention. I will always take the time to listen to all your questions and concerns, so that I can identify your challenges as well as your options.

Guidance From a Fullerton Small Estate Administration Lawyer

As a general rule, property that passes through a will can be subject to the probate process, but property that is held in trust will avoid court intervention. When you create a trust and put property into the trust, the trust is the owner of the property. At your death, the property stays in the trust, and the person you name as trustee has authority to distribute the property according to the instructions you put in your trust.

In California, estate administration is divided between small estates and large estates. If you have less than $150,000 of net value in the estate, or less than $20,000 in real property in the estate, you can pursue small estate administration, a process that dramatically reduces the time and complexity involved in settling the estate.

Avoid Trust Court, Contact Orange County, California, Attorney Barbara J. Dibble

To arrange a private consultation with an experienced Fullerton small estate administration attorney, contact my office by e-mail or call me at 714-515-5126 (toll free at 866-968-3546). I do not charge for the first meeting. I am available evenings or weekends, if necessary, and will travel to your home, the hospital or an assisted living facility. My office is conveniently located just off the 57 and 91 freeways, near the Orange County Courthouse.