Yes! With proper pre-death estate planning, probate can and should be avoided. A will alone will not necessarily avoid probate. Toews Law Group, Inc. can guide you through the process of avoiding probate in San Luis Obispo County or elsewhere in California to make certain that your assets are distributed according to your wishes following your death.
However, if pre-death estate planning was not properly undertaken and you or a loved one is facing probate, the dedicated attorneys at Toews Law Group, Inc. can help you.
What happens during probate?
Probate is a legal process during which the court distributes your assets according to either the terms of a will or according to the governing state law.
Generally, the probate process involves collecting a decedent’s assets, assessing and paying liabilities, including any taxes that may be due, and then distributing property to the heirs. This is carried out by the executor or administrator of the estate under the supervision of the probate court.
Establishing a trust allows you to avoid probate in San Luis Obispo and California while assuring that your assets are transferred according to your wishes and not those of the state. A trust designates how personal and real property will be transferred and who will be appointed to make sure those transfers are carried out.
Even a simple probate matter may take as long as one year to complete and will likely cost double what a trust administration would cost.
Does a trust replace a will?
Yes and no. A properly drafted estate plan includes not only a trust but a pourover will, which confirms that you want your assets transferred to your trust after your death if that did not occur during your life.
In addition to a trust and will, your estate plan should include an Advanced Health Care Directive (otherwise known as a living will) and other appropriate documents, including powers of attorney and assignments of assets.
A well thought out plan is the best way to avoid probate in San Luis Obispo and California and will also establish what happens when beneficiaries of your estate may have special challenges, are minors, may not be the most financially responsible or in situations where you have no particular heirs and may instead want to benefit a friend or charity.
You may ask why you should spend good money on a plan that does not take effect until after you die. The answer is simple; peace of mind. At Toews Law Group, Inc., we will help you personalize your estate plan and provide you with the assurance that your assets will end up in the hands of the persons or charities of your choice.
When you are facing probate
If you are facing probate in San Luis Obispo or in another county in California, Toews Law Group, Inc. can prepare and file all the necessary court documents so that important details are not left out. We will provide you with detailed information during the entire probate process, as well as offering important legal support and knowledge that will facilitate an efficient and comprehensive conclusion to the matter.
Whether you are thinking about estate planning or facing probate, we can help. Please call for a no-cost consultation today to help protect your family’s tomorrow.