Answering Your Trust And Estate Administration Questions
At GadzoLaw, we understand that it can be overwhelming to administer a trust or estate after a loved one’s death. We have compiled frequently asked questions to give you insight on your obligations before you begin this legal process.
If you have other questions about the administration process after you have read this page, please contact our Bay Area firm to arrange a private consultation with Alexandra Gadzo or Robyn Zorea.
Do All Estates Need To Go Through Probate?
In California, estates that are valued over $150,000 will need to go through the probate process. This process can be lengthy and expensive because it requires court involvement to settle the estate and distribute assets and property that comprise the estate.
Does All Property Need To Go Through Probate?
Not all property needs to be probated. “Nonprobate assets” include:
- Retirement accounts that have listed beneficiaries
- Bank accounts that are designated “pay on death” (POD) or “in trust for”
- Property that is owned by a living trust or co-owned with “joint tenants with right of survivorship”
- Life insurance policies
How Can Estate Planning Help To Avoid Probate?
Experienced estate planning attorneys can help you identify legal tools that allow you to avoid probate. Estates of individuals who die intestate, that is without a valid will, need to be probated regardless of the estate’s value. This is why it is important to have your will written by a qualified lawyer.
Certain estate planning attorneys can also create trusts that help individuals shield their assets from creditors, minimize tax obligations and avoid probate after the trustor dies. Our attorneys are intimately familiar with California’s trust laws. We are qualified to create and administer a variety of these legal instruments.
How Long Does It Take To Administer A Trust Or Estate?
The length of time it takes to administer a trust or estate depends on factors that include:
- The value of the estate
- The estate’s complexity
- The location of the property that the estate owns
- Resolving will contests filed by beneficiaries or other interested parties
- Addressing legal disputes filed by alleged creditors
- Filing the appropriate tax documents and other accounting forms related to the trust
Legal conflicts can hinder the administration process and drain resources from the estate. Receiving skilled counsel from an estate and trust administration lawyer can reduce the likelihood of an unnecessary delay by effectively resolving issues when they first arise.
Do You Have Other Questions Or Concerns? Contact Us Today.
You can easily reach our office online or by calling 650-397-9300. Arrange your appointment at our Los Altos office today.