California often is thought of as the place young people come to chase their dreams. However, the number of Californians over the age of 65 is on the rise. In fact, by 2026, the number of California’s seniors is expected to climb by 2.1 million.
You may be one of those seniors who plans to stay in the Golden State as you age. You may want to make sure, though, your estate is in order so settling your affairs easier on your loved ones someday. You may wonder if you can streamline the probate process as part of that. However, can you expedite the probate process in California?
How probate works
Every estate has to go through probate in California, unless your assets are less than $166,250 (as of 2020 – that amount increases through the years due to inflation). Having your estate go through probate can take anywhere between nine months to a year and a half.
Probate may drag on longer if:
- You don’t have a will.
- You haven’t kept your will updated.
- You didn’t complete your will with the help of an estate planning attorney.
- Your beneficiaries end up in a dispute over settling your estate.
One way you can expedite passing on your assets to your beneficiaries is through creating a trust. By creating a revocable trust, the trust administrator can distribute the trust’s assets after you pass away without involving the court. That means those assets avoid probate, going to your heirs more quickly.
Also, by having your assets pass on to your heirs through a trust, they will avoid having to pay court costs to settle your estate and you can keep the details of how your estate distribution private.
If you want to expedite your estate distribution, you should work with an estate planning attorney to ensure your will is up to date and establish a trust for your assets, to avoid the lengthy probate process.