Estate Planning Q&As

Why is estate planning so important?

The State of California has a plan for your estate whether you like it or not. That plan will be administered through a court oversight process often referred to as “probate.” If you have more than $162,250 in total assets, your estate may be subject to probate.

Why is it so important to avoid probate?

It’s expensive! Probate fees are based on the gross value of your estate. For example, the attorney’s fees alone for a $750,000 estate would be $18,000. Moreover, the personal representative who petitions the court for probate is also entitled to the same fees! The process is also time-consuming. The average probate takes more than a year to complete. Probate severely delays the process of transferring assets to your heirs.

How would things be different if I had my own estate plan?

The cost is significantly less. A plan for a married couple is typically around $3,000.
Proper planning also enables you to choose who inherits your estate, raises your
children, and manages the transfer of your assets. If you do not have an estate plan,
you defer those choices to the California probate code and the decisions of a probate
judge. Let’s make your estate plan the gift that it should be!

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