Estates that have a gross value of over $166,250 (effective 1/1/2020) of personal property (assets consisting of cash, stocks, and tangible personal items) normally require probate. Any estate that includes real property worth more than $55,425 (effective 1/1/2020) requires probate, however there are small estate proceedings that can be used to settle estates having real property valued under $166,250. These alternative proceedings can be completed much quicker and are less expensive than the full probate process. Keep in mind that these values are gross estate values and do not take into account any debts that are owed on the property.
How big does an estate have to be to require probate?
About the Author: Sandy McCarthy
Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.