Probate Avoidance Attorneys in Irvine
Orange County Estate Planning Lawyers
When someone passes away owning property, that property will be frozen and cannot be transferred to an heir or loved one unless a judge signs off on the transaction in a probate proceeding. Probate is a costly, time-consuming, and complicated court procedure which can take up to a year or more and cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Many people do not realize that even if someone has a Will, their estate will still have to go through probate. This is because the main purpose of a Will is simply to tell a Judge where you want your assets to go. In fact, a Will’s main purpose is to be used in a probate proceeding. As experienced estate planning attorneys, we can provide our clients with many different estate planning options that can provide the most efficient and cost-effective way for your heirs and beneficiaries to avoid the probate process.
Why You Should Avoid Probate
There are several reasons why you should seek to avoid probate, including:
- There are numerous fees involved
- The process is stressful and time-consuming
- Probate results are public and could lead to embarrassment
- The decisions made in probate are out of your control
How to Avoid Probate
There are several legal actions you can take now to ensure that your estate avoids the probate process in the future. After reviewing your assets and debts, our legal team can help you choose the right instruments for your particular situation.
Common ways to protect assets from probate include:
- Gifts – You can give your assets to your loved ones before you die. By not owning the assets at the time of your death, they will not be subjected to probate.
- Living trusts – You can choose to place your assets in a living trust. This can include things like bank accounts, real estate, and vehicles. Upon your death, these assets can be transferred to beneficiaries without going through the probate process.
- Joint ownership – Whether through joint tenancy or community property with right of survivorship, your property can be passed on to surviving owners at the time of your death.
- Payable-on-death designations – You can add a payable-on-death (POD) designation to your bank accounts, so that your beneficiary can claim the money directly from the bank after you die without going through probate.
- Transfer-on-death registration for vehicles – You can name a beneficiary who will automatically inherit your vehicle after your death.
Over the past 25 years, our attorneys have crafted hundreds of estate plans for local families. These plans have been proven effective in avoiding the probate process. Moreover, because we also handle post-death administration matters, our clients can be confident that when they pass away, their heirs and beneficiaries will continue to receive the same caring and responsive service in the post-death administration process.
Contact our Irvine probate avoidance attorneys at Bradley R. Kirk & Associates, Inc. today to discuss protecting your assets from probate.
“The team approached the case objectively, for a win for all parties involved. Jacob, Christian, and the entire team were patient and knowledgeable, putting us at ease. We trusted we were in the best possible hands given this unfamiliar territory.”- Anne-Marie
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