California Probate Laws
Being told that you have to go through probate after you’ve suffered the loss of a loved one can be devastating.
Now you have legal responsibilities to handle while grieving your loved one, planning a funeral, and burying them.
The probate process is not required in California if the decedent has set up a trust (or family trust) which in most cases helps their estate to avoid probate. However, if those trusts or plans were not made, the only way estate assets can be distributed in California is through the probate. There are extreme cases where an estate will still need to pass through probate even if the decedent had a trust in place.
How long does probate take in California?
In non-pandemic times, the probate assets (personal property) within an estate in California can take anywhere from 9 months to 3 years to be distributed from the decedents estate. There are different variables including the following:
- Size of the estate which dictates how long an inventory of assets will take
- The amount of beneficiaries in the estate
- How fast the executor of the estate can push the process along
- If the will is contested
- Probate Court Timelines
Probate court proceedings take a long time. In addition, courts have been forced to go remote as a result of the pandemic, and thus have been slowed down as a result. There have been many articles recently published on the delay in the court system which has caused a lot of anguish to estate heirs. You cannot distribute any assets to heirs until the estate goes through the legal process of probate. Doing so before the probate is closed can lead to legal issues for the executor and cause headaches for everyone involved. In this article we go over laws specific to California as well as ways that you can receive your inheritance cash now.
What Are The Deadlines and Timelines In California Probate
- Contesting appointment of personal representative (executor): You can contest who has been appointed as the executor of the estate at or before the initial hearing (you contest the appointment by filing a written objection)
- You can respond to anyone who has contested the will within 30 days after receiving the summons from the court
- A Petition to Revoke the Probate Process within 120 days after the will is submitted to the probate court
- The Inventory and Appraisal of the estate’s assets must be concluded within four months of the issuance of letters
- Creditor Claims have four months to be completed after the issuance of letters or 60 days after notice
- Small Estate Affidavit – Personal Property: Cannot be filed until at least 40 days have passed following the decedent’s death
- Petition For Order Determining Succession To Real Property (Small Estates): Cannot be filed until at least 40 days have passed following the decedent’s death
- Small Estate Affidavit – Real Property: You are required to wait at least six months following death to file
- Surviving Spouse Right To Dispose Of Community Or Quasi-Community Property: You can file 40 days or later after the death of your spouse
California Probate Laws
- Intestate succession laws apply to the deceased persons assets owned solely by them where there is a beneficiary on the real property. For instance, estate assets that have been put into trust or retirement accounts with a beneficiary do not have to go through probate.
- The real property assets will pass to the surviving co-owner or to the beneficiary you named, whether or not you have a will.
- California does not have an inheritance tax or a gift tax either. However, if you inherit money from a relative who lived in another state, you should check the laws of that state to see if your inheritance will be taxed.
- The federal gift tax does apply to anyone who is gifted money in California via an estate. In 2020, the federal exemption was $11.58 milion for an individual and $23.16 million per married couple. In 2021, the federal exemption is $11.7 million for an individual and $23.4 million for a married couple.
Estate And Inheritance Tax Laws
When you go through probate administration it’s important to keep in mind the specific state laws for taxes and seek legal advice. There are 38 states in the country that do not have an estate tax in place. Federal Estate tax remains the same but different states have different tax laws and ways they deal with community property, surviving spouse and the deceased persons owned assets as well as tenants by the entirety.
If the deceased person’s assets are not set up with an estate plan for intestate succession the estate will haveto go through probate and you will haveto pay taxes.
States with an estate tax:
- New York
- Rhode Island
- Washington (state)
States with an inheritance tax:
- New Jersey
Estate and Inheritance Tax
Get An Inheritance Cash Advance Now
An inheritance cash advance is your best option when you need an influx of cash following the death of a loved one. The cash can be used for anything you deem necessary.
The advantages of an inheritance cash advance in California include:
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Probate Loan Vs Probate Advance In California
If you are stuck in the process of probate in California you might have thought about borrowing against your estate or getting a mortgage on a property in probate. This is commonly referred to as an estate loan, traditional bank loan or probate loan. It’s important to understand the difference between probate loans in California and an advance on your inheritance money. Inheritance advances are a much simpler process when compared to a probate loan because you don’t have the traditional requirements of a bank loan with credit checks and repayment terms on assets.
When you apply for a probate loan, you need to go through the traditional loan application process. It can be time consuming and difficult because of credit requirements and a lengthy application to be completed either online or with a representative at the bank. Thus, like probate, there can be no end in sight for many heirs.
How to avoid probate in California
- Hire a good estate planning attorney
- Open bank accounts and designate heirs as beneficiaries of the accounts
- Add a ‘transfer on death’ deed to any real estate you own
- Create a revocable living trust
- Make sure any real property is owned with tenants by entirety or has a beneficiary.
California Probate Questions
Here are some helpful resources to utilize when you enter into the probate estate process in California due to a loved one’s death and it can help you answer more questions about probate:
Probate Code And California Law Resources:
Do You Regularly Help California Residents?
Yes, we’ve helped people from the following counties in California with Inheritance Advanced.
Los Angeles County
San Diego County
San Bernardino County
Santa Clara County
Contact Inheritance Advanced to Receive Your Inheritance Money In California Now
If you are entering into the probate process in California and you need cash immediately, inheritance advanced is here for you. Inheritance Advanced has worked with more than 1,700 satisfied clients across the country, including [state]. We have helped them obtain money to pay for the funeral, burial, medical bills, credit card debt, and everyday expenses instead of waiting for the probate process to complete.
Our experienced team is compassionate, caring, and understanding. We know how difficult it is to wait for probate, that is why we give you your funds now and wait for probate ourselves, so you don’t have to.