Probate proceedings can be frustrating and emotionally draining. For people trying to close a loved one’s estate, it is important to understand exactly which possessions may be subject to probate. While many California residents are quick to cover their home, car, or investment account in a will or trust, many others forget to account for household items of lesser value.
Determining Which Assets Go Through Probate
Most assets can be probate assets, unless they are:
- Jointly owned
- Community property
- Subject to a pay-upon-death arrangement
- Payable to a named beneficiary
- Held in a living trust
Probate assets can include but are not limited to:
- Real estate
- Business interests
- Stocks and bonds
- Cash accounts
- Household items
If an asset is determined to be a probate asset, it will have to be inventoried, appraised, and distributed to a rightful heir or legal inheritor with a California probate court’s oversight.
Any estate that is not protected by a proper estate plan and is worth more than $150,000 may be subject to probate.
Household Items and Probate
Most household items, including items of trivial value, may still be subject to probate—regardless of the item’s significance or its sentimental value.
The state’s definition of “household items” is broad. A household item could be:
- A piece of furniture
- Pots and pans
- A television set
- A comic book or coin collection
In other words, household items are those things which, in many cases, make a house a home: the everyday assets used in the owner’s everyday life.
Protecting Household Items From Probate
People who plan their estates typically want to spare their relatives from probate. After all, the probate process can be expensive and time-consuming. One of the most common methods to keep assets out of probate—including household items that may hold strong sentimental value for family members—is to transfer them into a living trust or to stipulate an inheritor through a will or beneficiary designation.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
If you want to protect your loved ones from probate, you should create a comprehensive estate plan. This not only helps you pass on your home, car, and finances, but it covers your household items, too. A California estate planning and probate attorney can create a custom-built plan that best suits your needs.
If you are currently facing probate, an attorney can alleviate the hard work of inventorying an estate and parceling out inheritances.
Do You Need Legal Help Regarding Probate Issues In California?
If a loved one died without a will and you need legal assistance regarding the probate process you should be speak with an experienced probate attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 800.756.5596 to claim your space at one of our free, informative seminars. Your attendance will qualify you for a discount for our probate services. We proudly serve clients throughout California with offices in experienced probate attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 800.756.5596 to claim your space at one of our free, informative seminars. Your attendance will qualify you for a discount for our probate services. We proudly serve clients throughout California with offices in Torrance, Newport Beach, Orange, Woodland Hills and Pasadena." target="_blank">Torrance, Newport Beach, Orange, Woodland Hills and Pasadena.