The California legislature amended the Probate Code, effective January 1, 2012, to allow slightly larger estates to pass to heirs without going through probate or other burdens. Previously, assets up to the value of $100,000 could be transferred with streamlined procedures. The changes increase the amount that may pass, in the less formal manner, to $150,000.

If the gross value of all real property in an estate does not exceed $50,000, a simple procedure may be used to transfer title. Previously, the simpler transfer was limited to real property worth $20,000 or less.
Other limits for simplified transfer of property or administration have also been increased by recent legislative changes. Consult with a lawyer to determine if an estate will be able to take advantage of these changes.

Of course, a good estate plan should reduce or eliminate the risk that probate or expensive administration will be required. My ebook Estate Planning 101 should answer many of the questions you may have about estate planning and avoiding probate. You can get your free copy when you subscribe to my email updates using the form on this page.

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