Probate Administration Serving Sacramento & Northern California

El Dorado Hills Probate Administration Attorney

Assisting Clients in Sacramento & Across Northern California

Have you recently lost a loved one and are you the one who will be responsible for settling their estate? At Yonano Law Offices, P.C., our El Dorado Hills probate administration lawyer has over 28 years of experience providing legal representation to executors and administrators throughout the probate process. We proudly serve clients throughout the Greater Sacramento Area, and we would be pleased to help you too.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the court-supervised process of validating a will, paying off a decedent's debts and taxes, transferring the decedent's property to the beneficiaries, and settling the decedent's estate. In a probate case, if there is a will an executor is appointed to manage the estate. If there is no will, an administrator is appointed.

Deciding whether or not probate is needed will depend on how the property is owned and if there is a contract with the beneficiaries; for example:

  • Title Ownership - Certain types of property passes directly to beneficiaries because how the property was owned; for example, property owned in joint tenancy, community property with right of survivorship, or bank accounts owned by several people all pass to survivors so they are not subject to probate.
  • Beneficiary Designations - In some cases all or a portion of a decedent's property passes to beneficiaries because the contract names beneficiaries. Such contracts include life insurance policies that pay benefits to someone other than the estate, bank accounts with payable on death designations, retirement benefits, death benefits, and trusts.

Are Small Estates Subject to Probate?

If an estate is worth $166,250 or less, it may NOT be necessary to go to court. There is a simplified process for transferring property to the beneficiaries' names. It's important to remember that the simplified process cannot be used for real property such as a home. If the decedent left behind less than $166,250 in real property and some personal property, you will need to file a Petition to Determine Succession to Real Property with the court and file an Inventory and Appraisal.

Probate Avoidance Methods

Due to the costs and delays associated with probate, Californians often wonder if probate can be avoided. The short answer is yes, it can, but it depends upon how a person's assets are organized. Some people want to avoid the costs and delays associated with probate so they arrange their assets accordingly.

Probate is necessary for transferring ownership of property owned solely in the decedent's name to his or her beneficiaries; however, probate can often be avoided by creating a revocable living trust and by transferring all of one's assets into the trust.

During your lifetime, you can be the trustee of your trust and you would be the sole beneficiary. You would name a successor trustee to take over upon your death, thereby avoiding the need for probate. Once you pass away, the successor trustee would distribute your property to your beneficiaries according to the instructions set forth in your trust.

Call (916) 343-8488 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Ways to Avoid Probate in California

By means of a trust or through other methods of arranging your assets, probate can be avoided. Deciding whether or not probate avoidance is right for you will require a careful review of your assets and your relationship with your beneficiaries.

Some people choose to avoid probate by making their children co-owners of their assets; however, if your child dies before you, or if they get a divorce, or have creditor problems of their own, your assets could be at risk.

Common ways to avoid probate, include:

  • Revocable living trust
  • Payable-on-death accounts and registrations (e.g. bank accounts & retirement accounts)
  • Life insurance with beneficiary designations
  • Joint ownership of property
  • Community property with right of survivorship
  • Gifts
  • Simplified probate procedures (for small estates)

In California, there is a probate threshold defining small estates, which can bypass the probate process. California Probate Code states that estates totaling less than $166,250 in assets are not required to go through probate. Estates that exceed this amount are required to go through the probate process.

Contact Yonano Law Offices, P.C. Today!

When you meet with Attorney Yonano during a consultation, he can answer all of your questions about California's probate proceedings. If you have been appointed an executor or an administrator of an estate that is subject to probate proceedings, we can inform you of your rights and responsibilities under the law.

Why work with Attorney Nick Yonano?

  • Graduated from Georgetown Law Center
  • Extensive knowledge of California's probate laws
  • In-depth knowledge of California's real estate laws and practice
  • Licensed California real estate broker
  • Practices in the state and federal courts
  • Member of the United States Supreme Court Bar

To learn more about probate administration and to find out if your estate qualifies for the simplified process, contact our El Dorado Hills probate administration lawyer today!

Decades of Experience Backed By a Mission to Guide & Protect Our Clients

  • We have handled probate cases for more than 28 years.
  • We are a full-service litigation firm serving all of Northern California.
  • Attorney Yonano is a member of several U.S. District Courts & U.S. Supreme Court Bar.
  • Attorney Yonano is a certified and licensed California real estate broker.

Creative & Effective Solutions for Your Probate Needs

Always Work Directly With Our Dedicated Attorney
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