The best way to avoid probate is plan ahead to pass property by trust or alternative means. However, if the property owner is already deceased, we often can still find alternatives to a formal probate. Some property may be passing by “non probate” transfers such as joint tenancy, in trust, or by direct beneficiary designation. For other assets, in the case of smaller estates or surviving spouses, “summary probate proceedings” may be available.
There are several different types of “summary proceedings” in California law, and the exceptions are detailed. We would be pleased to analyze any estate and tell you if you are eligible for a summary probate. If so, you can save substantial time and expense.