Not every California estate requires completing a 9-12 month full probate in California. California offers several small estate alternatives for estates with a total value under $150,000. For example, small estates under $150,000 that consist of only personal property (no house or land) can usually be settled without filing a court proceeding. A People’s Choice can help you prepare some paperwork to present to the bank or other agency holding the assets so the funds or assets can be easily turned over to the beneficiaries.
For small estates with real property (land or house) and total value under $150,000, there are two different options. Estate under $50,000 in value can be settled through a court process that doesn’t require a hearing. Families can settle estates over $50,000 but under $150,000 within a few months through a court process with one single hearing. A personal representative isn’t in these simplified proceedings. Instead, all beneficiaries petition together and jointly file the case.
There is also a particular proceeding for a spouse of a decedent. The spouse of a decedent can file a spousal proceeding no matter what the size of the estate. A spousal proceeding can quickly settle and distribute spousal interest in community and separate property without having to file full probate.