When assets are held in a living trust in California, administering the estate of your loved one may be far less complicated than an estate that requires the oversight of the probate court. Even in cases where a loved one may have had a trust, however, there may still be a need for probate administration proceedings if some assets were not held in the trust. This could include motor vehicles. Fortunately, however, you may avoid the need to pursue a formal probate proceeding for the car, under certain circumstances.

As is often the case, your loved one may have left a will, which included a “pour over” provision. This provision places probate assets inside the living trust. Unfortunately, it has to go through the probate court to get there. When the asset in question is a car, you could apply to transfer title to the vehicle to the trust without needing to begin the probate administration process. Consider the following questions when assessing whether this procedure may be useful as you implement the trust of your loved one:

  • Is the real and personal property of the decedent valued at less than $150,000?
  • Have at least 40 days passed since the decedent’s death?
  • Have you completed an Affidavit for Transfer Without Probate - California Titled Vehicles or Vessels Only form?
  • Have you gathered all of the applicable supporting documentation that is required?
  • Are you prepared to pay the fee to transfer title to the vehicle?

Estates that qualify for this procedure could avoid the expense and hassle of probate administration. To learn more, contact the experienced Orange County trust attorneys at the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC. Call our office today at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm
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