Orange County California

Trust Attorneys


Many people ask what the amount of money that can avoid probate in California is, however, this depends on the way the money is held. While there are many ways to avoid having certain assets counted in the probate estate, sometimes people do not follow through with funding a trust or they attain new property held outside the trust and then can end up having loved ones facing at least a partial probate.

What California Law Says About Avoiding Probate

Pursuant to California law, assets outside of a Trust which do not have a beneficiary named, that are in your name alone, that do not exceed $150,000 collectively do not require probate. However, if the asset outside of the trust was an interest in real estate, then the fair market value of the interest cannot exceed $50,000. If the value exceeds $50,000, then probate will be required to transfer the asset to the Trust. In order for a Trustee to gain access to such an account or asset, you must wait 40 days following the decedent’s passing, complete an affidavit procedure, and present the death certificate.

Understanding the amount of money that can avoid probate is really based on the value of the other assets in the estate. Also, paying attention to the way titles are held is important as this affects what is brought into the probate estate. This includes having bank accounts set up with a beneficiary as a way to avoid the cash in the bank account being brought into the probate account.

Spend some time talking with your attorney to help you establish what you need to do in order to transfer your property and avoid probate. Contact us by completing a form or call us at (714) 282-7488, to discuss the estate planning needs you have and how to best transfer your property to your loved ones outside of probate.

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