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Avoiding Probate in Oakland, CA

Alameda County Estate Planning Lawyer

The main reasons people want avoid probate is because it can be expensive and extremely time consuming. Most probate cases last anywhere between six months and a year. Fortunately, there are several ways individuals can avoid this frustrating process. As an Alameda County estate planning attorney, I am here to help you avoid probate matters. I am committed to providing you with the highest level of legal support, ensuring you stay informed of your options every step of the way. If you are concerned about going through the probate process, I am here to make sure you don't have to waste your time or money in court.

Using Summary Administration

If the value of your estate is less than $100,000, you may be able to use summary administration. This allows for the collection or transfer of a small estate without going through probate due to the small value. Instead of going to probate court, the beneficiary can collect the property by executing an affidavit. This may be used to collect any kind of personal property and evidence of debts. The affidavit must be signed by all persons who have an interest in the property and a certified copy of the death certificate must be attached. The will must still be submitted to the probate court to ensure the executor is acting in an official legal role.

You may be wondering how to tell if the value of an estate is worth less than $100,000. It is important to understand that not all of the deceased's actual property is included when determining the overall value. If you want to avoid probate, you can use certain methods to decrease the value of an estate. This process can be risky and should only be pursued with the approval and help of an experienced legal professional.

Some common methods for reducing an estate's value include the following:

  • Gifts: Though it can be suspicious if you give large gifts away immediately before death, you can still give up to $10,000 in assets without incurring federal tax liability.
  • Joint Tenancy: Any items owned in joint tenancy will not be included in value of estate. Many items can be held in joint tenancy, such as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, cars, and real estate.
  • Pay on Death Accounts: This account will be transferred directly to a specified individual in the case of the first holder's passing. The value in this account will not be included in your estate.
  • Life Insurance: If there is a beneficiary assigned to the value of your life insurance, it will not be included in the value of your estate.
  • Living Trusts : When you have a fairly large estate, a trust can help you avoid taxes and probate.

If you would like more information on how to avoid probate, please contact my practice at (415) 944-9406.

summerall law
Summerall Law, P.C. - Oakland Estate Planning Attorney
Located at 3873 Piedmont Avenue, Suite 8,
Oakland, CA 94611
Phone: (415) 944-9406
Local Phone: (415) 944-9406

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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