Avoidance of Probate

Advice from an Orange County Probate Lawyer

Probate provides a method for transferring and managing an estate after the owner's death. It also allows heirs and creditors to legally dispute the administration of an estate. The probate courts were created for asset protection and to safeguard against breach of fiduciary duty. Still, it is often an expensive and time consuming process that rarely benefits your beneficiaries.

With proper estate planning, you may be able to avoid probate and achieve an economical distribution of assets. The Orange County probate lawyer at P. Arnsen Blakely can guide you in achieving your objectives. With over 40 years of experience, our lawyer has been able to successfully many clients through the estate planning process.

How to Avoid Probate

You may be able to prevent your estate from passing through the probate court by a number of different options. These include living trusts, joint ownership, and payable-on-death accounts.

Revocable Living Trusts

A revocable living trust allows you to control your assets during your lifetime, even though ownership has been legally transferred to someone else. To create a revocable living trust, you list the assets that you want to be passed on, name yourself as the trustee, and choose a trusted family member or friend as a secondary trustee to take over in case of your incapacity or death.

While you are able, you may carry on as before, spending the money as you see fit. When you become incapacitated or die, your secondary trustee simply takes over to pay your bills and provide for your heirs as you have directed in your trust document. Your secondary trustee need not file any reports with the probate court, but must give an accounting of their actions upon request.

Irrevocable Trusts

For tax advantages or eligibility for public benefits, you may also create an irrevocable trust. It is different from a revocable trust as you give up immediate control of your assets to your trustee. You will not be able to change the irrevocable trust once it is created. Many people create this type of trust because they are still ensure to receive the benefit of the assets through their trustee.

Joint Ownership

If you name a joint owner to your property, then they will directly inherit the property upon your death. They only need to show that the property did not belong to anyone else, then they can assume control without passing through the probate court.

Payable-on-Death (POD) Bank Accounts

Another way to avoid probate is to open a payable-on-death account. The assets that are in this account may be claimed by the heir at the bank that manages the account. The heir will not have to go through the probate court to receive their inheritance.

Will I need the help of an Orange County probate attorney?

At P. Arnsen Blakely, our lawyer is skilled in assisting clients who are seeking to maximize their assets by avoiding the probate court. It must be mentioned, however, that everyone's situation is unique so your estate plan will look different than others. This is why our legal team works to personally evaluate your case, then inform you of all available options and assist you in determining the most beneficial.

Since 1971, Attorney Blakely has provided legal service to clients throughout the Orange County area. He can discuss your options for the avoidance of probate and then draft clear and legally binding documents to carry out your intentions. If you wish to learn more about avoiding probate, contact P. Arnsen Blakely today.

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Orange County Estate Planning Attorney

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P. Arnsen Blakely
Orange County Estate Planning Attorney
1111 Bayside Drive, Suite 228,
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
Local Phone: 949.220.2492
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.