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
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.
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.
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.