Avoid Probate in Orange County
One of the main goals of estate planning is to avoid the unpleasant experience of probate. When an individual passes away without leaving behind an estate plan, their assets and property must then go through the probate process in order to be distributed. This generally involves litigation and a great deal of stress, as well as other emotions for the surviving family members and loved ones of the deceased.
You may establish a living trust in California to escape probate on practically every asset you possess, including real estate, bank accounts, cars, and so on. You'll need to make a trust declaration (similar to a will) in which you appoint someone to act as trustee after your passing (called a successor trustee). After that, as the guardian of the trust, you must transfer possession of the property to yourself. After that, the land would be under the jurisdiction of the trust's terms. Your replacement trustee will be free to pass it to the trust beneficiaries without having to go through probate court.
If you own land jointly with another person and the inheritance requires the "right to survivorship," the remaining owner inherits the property until the other owner dies. To pass the land, no probate will be required, but certain documents will be required to prove the title to the property is owned exclusively by the surviving owner.
These styles of shared ownership are available in California:
Joint tenancy. When one of the joint tenants dies, the house immediately passes to the remaining owners. There is no need for probate. When spouses (married or not) buy real estate, cars, bank accounts, or other valued property together, joint occupancy is always the best option. In California, each joint tenant must own an equal share of the property.
Property in the society with a right to survivorship. California is a community land jurisdiction, which ensures that unless they take action to hold their property separate, spouses and licensed intimate partners share all property purchased through the union jointly.
Mortensen & Reinheimer, PC serves to help individuals plan their estate so as to prevent their loved ones from having to endure the necessity of probate. A common misconception that people have is that simply preparing a will can avoid probate. However, a simple will is not a non-probate transfer like a trust. Thus, the will must be brought before the probate judge and be found as a valid document, after which the probate process must occur, which can lead to estate litigation.
In order to avoid all of the confusion and difficulty that comes with having only a will, you must be sure to retain an Orange County estate planning attorney with the experience and knowledge to help. Each lawyer with Mortensen & Reinheimer, PC has extensive skill in estate planning and can help you draft the best possible living trust so that probate can be avoided.
Hire an Orange County Probate Lawyer Today
Learn what one of our attorneys can do for you by contacting us today or filling out our online form to request a consultation. We can provide an initial case evaluation and we are flexible when it comes to developing payment plans. With our help, you have the best chance of drafting the strongest and clearest will and forming the most detailed estate plan possible.
We are in the business of helping families just like yours plan for the future in the most sensible and beneficial ways possible, and we are proud to have been successful in that effort. Read the testimonials of our previous clients to understand what it's like to work with our Orange County estate planning attorneys.
“Noah is so knowledgeable, informative and very caring.”- Roxanne B.
“Ms. Reinheimer's excellence in these areas is clearly apparent.”- Susan B.
“Mr. Herbold was extremely honest with information and probable outcome.”- L.C.
We handle each case on a one-on-one basis and explore all possible options with you.
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With 50 years of combined experience, we've handled cases of all types and can confidently help you.