As you continue to accumulate wealth throughout your life in California, a big part of your estate planning activities likely will center around the issue of which of your assets will wind up in your probate estate and which will not. As you likely already know, California is a community property state. This means that half of whatever property you and your spouse or partner accumulate during your marriage or registered domestic partnership belongs to you and half belongs to him or her.
Whether or not your half of the community property, plus all of your separate property, will become part of your probate estate depends on the way in which you own the various pieces of it at the time you die. Fidelity.com explains that, in general, the following types of property are subject to probate:
Much of the property you own likely will not become part of your probate estate, including the following:
Given that probate can be a long, drawn-out and expensive court procedure depending on the size and value of your probate estate, you may well wish to use trusts and other direct-pass methodologies in your estate plan so as to leave as little as possible in your probate estate. Such planning with the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo makes it easier and quicker for your heirs and beneficiaries to receive the property you want them to receive.