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Avoiding Probate in Granite Bay, California

Protecting Your Assets from The Probate Process

At Herrig, Vogt & Hensley, LLP, we understand that many people would like to mitigate the excessive time and costs that probate can cause their loved ones. Our attorneys have extensive experience and a comprehensive understanding of the steps that you can take to avoid probate. We work closely with our clients and may suggest avoiding probate through the following means.

Avoid Probate by Designating Death Beneficiaries

There are options for transferring your assets upon death without subjecting them to probate, including designating death beneficiaries for some of your financial accounts. Through this method, you name a person who will receive the remaining funds in your account immediately upon your death. This designation transfers ownership of the fund when you pass which means the asset is no longer part of your estate and is thus ineligible for probate. Through retirement accounts, you are also free to name whomever you want to inherit your account. However, if you are married, your spouse may have the inherent right to some or all of the funds in the account.

Avoid Probate by Establishing a Trust

A powerful way to remove much of your property from the probate estate is to put it in a trust. When a property is in a trust, it is no longer part of your estate because the trust — not you — legally owns the property, and therefore, the property is no longer subject to hefty estate tax. A trust also allows you to provide clear guidelines to your designated trustee about how you want your property managed.

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Avoid Probate Through Joint Ownership

When you share ownership of your property, the right of survivorship outweighs probate law. When a joint owner of an asset passes away, the remaining owners automatically inherit his or her share. It is not possible for the joint owner to designate in a will that someone else receives his or her share of the property. This typically requires a written document that establishes the joint ownership and the right to survivorship, which our probate lawyers can help you complete.

Joint ownership can be established through the following methods:

  • Joint Tenancy with the Right of Survivorship – Upon the joint owner’s death, his or her portion is divided among the surviving owners.

  • Joint Tenancy in Entirety – This form of ownership is only available to spouses. When a joint owner passes away, his or her interest is transferred to the survivor.

  • Community Property – Under California law, the property and income that a couple earns during a marriage are considered community property. The surviving spouse inherits these assets.

Retain Experienced and Compassionate Legal Counsel

At Herrig, Vogt & Hensley, LLP our legal team is dedicated to helping individuals prepare for the administration of their estate after they pass. Our Roseville probate attorneys can help you understand your options for establishing inheritances and transfers of ownership in ways that avoid the complicated probate process. We recognize that you want to protect your loved ones and your assets and are prepared to provide high-quality legal counsel to help you do so.

Schedule your free consultation today to start planning your estate!