In California, there are several alternatives to the full, formal probate. Some of these are:
- If the total gross value of a deceased person’s personal property does not exceed $166,250, a non-court affidavit procedure may be used on behalf of the beneficiaries to avoid a “full” probate.
- If the gross value of a decedent’s real property does not exceed $55,425, a simplified court affidavit procedure can be used on behalf of the beneficiaries to avoid “full” probate.
- If the surviving spouse or registered domestic partner is heir to all or part of the decedent’s estate, they may file a special spousal property petition to avoid formal probate. This method is faster and less expensive than formal probate.