If you are one of the many individuals who wants to provide for your loved ones after you pass but do not want to go through probate to do so, these helpful tips may be of some guidance. When it comes to avoiding probate court, there is an appropriate way, and an unethical way, to do so.

While you may think that you can avoid the probate process by sharing title ownership of all of your assets with the individual you want to leave your assets to, this can prove to be consequential. One major reason why you should not take this approach is due to tax reasons. By appointing a family member as the joint owner of your estate, you run the risk of running into legal troubles. This approach turns your heirs into shared owners, meaning they will not be inheriting your home, they will be the owner. As the owner of the property, they may be subject to capital gains taxes, which could have been avoided if you left the individual as your heir.

If you are looking to avoid the probate process, you may want to consider drafting a trust instead of a will. When you put the future of your assets into a trust, you are in a sense transferring ownership of your assets and estate to the trust, rather than yourself. Trusts do not go through probate; rather, the trustee of the trust will carry out your final wishes instead.

If you are looking to provide your loved ones with protection but want to avoid forcing them to go through probate, let us assist you! Contact Gaudy Law in Upland for all of your California legal needs. Whether you are in need of assistance through the probate process, creating a will or trust, or going over estate planning, we will provide you with the representation you deserve with one of our experienced probate attorneys in Upland.

View all Resources