Here in California, owning a home is an expensive proposition, and in almost all cases it pushes the owner past the relatively low estate threshold of probate. In very simple terms, if a person owns real estate in California at all, their estate is almost certainly subject to probate upon their passing. While this is a frustrating reality, especially considering the high taxation that Californians already bear, there are some ways around this issue, including placing a home in a trust.
Whenever a person with an estate of any substantial size passes away, it is necessary for someone to take on the responsibilities of resolving the estate. Even in cases where the estate owner took care to plan out their passing and left specific instructions outlining their wishes, the law rarely allows for the quick transfer of assets, even in best-case-scenarios.
Estate planning is not one-size-fits all, especially for parents with dependent children. While it is good to have a plan for the long-term care of your loved ones, it is also important to consider the short-term needs of your children if and when the unthinkable happens and you don't make it home.
If you've ever had a conversation about end of life wishes or estate planning, then you probably know that every person should have a will if they own any property at all and care about what happens to it when they die. Unfortunately, simply creating a will is not enough; the will must be legally sound in order for a court to uphold it.
California is bright and beautiful, and it's no wonder why so many people choose to live her. However, for individuals with significant resources, or even just an owned home, the probate process can significantly drain the value of their estate if they do not or cannot build provisions to avoid it.
As our parents and others we love grow older, their needs may change dramatically. Without careful planning for the future, even those who saved for a rainy day or who own significant resources may see all that they worked for drained away by the high costs of late-in-life care. To help cushion these costs, the government offers programs like Medicaid to those who qualify, but what if your parent has too high an income or owns too large an estate to use government assistance?