How to access assets outside of trust when a person passes away?

Assets outside of trust can ultimately be distributed to the beneficaries of the trust through what's known as a Small Estate Affidavit. Probate Code Section 13100 outlines the rules for these kinds of transfers. The first requirement is that the decedent must not have left more than $150,000  of probate property outside of trust. The following are NOT considered probate property: assets held in trust, joint bank accounts, assets held in joint tenancy, California registered vehicles, life insurance, and retirement accounts with beneficiares. The second requirement is that you must wait 40 days form the date of death to transfer such assets into the trust or to distribute the to the benficiary or beneficiaries. Finally, a declaration must be signed by personal representative confirming that 40 days from death have in fact lapsed and that the probate estate does not exceed $150,000.

Holly M. Nabiey
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Holly M. Nabiey is an estate planning attorney at Roberts & Associates.