“My mom died with $140,000 in assets so I want to do a small estate.”
“I want to avoid a full probate because I have heard how horrible it can be.”
“What do we have to do to qualify to be a small estate?”
“Do we have to do a small estate if we have less than $150,000 in assets?”
These are some of the many common statements I hear regarding the California probate process. The state legislature’s recent change in the probate limits from $100,000 to $150,000 has given clients greater to ability to qualify as a small estate. However, just because it’s cheaper and takes less time does not mean it’s better for everybody.
The fact is that a small estate only clears title to assets. A small estate, or “succession,” does not deal with creditors, liabilities and taxes among other things.
A full probate is different in that it deals with clearing title to assets AND clearing up liability, creditor and tax issues.
In short with a full probate you can stand in the decedent’s shoes to transact business on his or her behalf. With a mini probate you are only getting a Court order dealing with specific assets you tell the Court about.
A mini probate is not right for all cases!
Look beyond the attorney fees, Court costs and time involved. Make sure your attorney tells you all the details that make one better or worse than the other for YOU!
Each case is UNIQUE!
Let’s talk about your estate!