Your Responsibilities During Probate
If one of your relatives named you in their will to be the personal representative of their estate, then the responsibilities of probate fall on you. These are some of the things you must do during probate:
- Present the deceased person’s will to the court if she or he had one
- Locate all of the deceased person’s assets and determine their value, whether or not these assets are listed in the will
- File a tax return on behalf of the estate
- Publish notices announcing that the estate has been opened for probate
- Pay debts owed by the estate
- Distribute the assets of the estate to the heirs, which may involve selling real estate or other items of property in order to divide the proceeds among two or more heirs
Simplified Probate Alternatives to Avoid Probate for the 99%
California probate laws accept that the full probate process is unnecessarily long and complicated for small estates. If the estate of your recently deceased family member was valued at $166,250 or less, you might be able to take possession of your inherited property with one of the following legal documents and avoid probate:
- Affidavit to receive property – You can avoid probate if the estate is under $166,250 and does not contain real property. This can only be used for personal property, not real estate. You must wait at least 40 days after the person’s death before filing the affidavit.
- Affidavit re: Real Property of Small Value – Another great way to avoid probate in small estates with real property worth less than $55,425. You can file this statement to have a real estate property transferred to you if the property is valued at $55,425 or less. You must wait until six months after the person’s death before filing. This simplified probate alternative is only an option if the decedent’s funeral expenses and medical bills from his or her final illness have been paid off.
- Petition to Determine Succession to Real Property – Avoid probate by filing this document 40 days after the person’s death. Keep in mind, however, the petition is applicable to real estate properties valued less than $166,250.
Legal Document Preparation to Fit Every Budget
The inability to afford a lawyer’s services should not stand between you and your inherited property. Contact A People’s Choice to have a registered legal document assistant prepare your documents and avoid probate using simplified probate alternatives. If you do need to file full probate, A People’s Choice can still help and save you money. Call us today at 800-747-2780.
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