If my parents are in their 80’s and own a home worth about $80,000 but have no other valuable assets, can we avoid probate on their estate without a Trust?

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If my parents are in their 80’s and own a home worth about $80,000 but have no other valuable assets, can we avoid probate on their estate without a Trust?

Asked on January 21, 2015 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you may be able avoid probate. If, for example, your father predeceases your mother, then she will automiacally become vested in the house by virtue of survivorship community property. Additionally, assets that are inherited by a surviving spouse can be transferred with a simplified procedure (the probate court is involved but the process is not at all complicated or time-consuming). Also, if the total value of the probate estate is small enough, probate may not be necessary and heirs/beneficiaries can claim assets by affidavit or through a summary probate procedure.

 

At this stage, you may just want to sit for an hour or so and consut with a local probate attorney who can go over the specifics of your parent's estate and advise you and them more fully.


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