What Assets Are (& Aren’t) Included in California Probate?

California probate can be a complicated process, especially for larger estates. Regardless of the size or an estate, however, there are certain assets that will typically pass through probate in California – or that usually are exempt from California probate. Understanding this as you develop an estate plan or as you get ready to probate and settle an estate can be crucial to taking the rights steps moving forward.

Assets Usually Included in California Probate

The assets that typically need to be probated in California include most assets exclusively owned in the decedent’s name. These commonly can include (but may not be limited to):

  • Motor vehicles (so long as the “transfer upon death” designation has not been completed)
  • Jewelry
  • Art and books
  • Tools
  • Furniture
  • Electronic equipment

Here, it’s important to note that, if such assets (excluding motor vehicles and certain other items) are not valued at more than $100,000 (combined), then probate is not necessary (per California law).

Assets Not Usually Included in California Probate

Assets that can generally be excluded from California probate include (but may not be limited to):

  • Any assets held in joint tenancy, such as real estate and homes.
  • Any assets owned by a trust, which can include cash and/or real property.
  • Any assets for which a beneficiary has already been designated (via “transfer upon death” (TOD) designations or “payable on death” (POD) designations), which can include bank accounts, retirement accounts and insurance policies.
  • Any assets considered to be community property and for which there is a right of survivorship.

Want to Help Your Loved Ones Avoid Probate in the Future? Start Planning Now…

Given that probate can be as costly and complicated as it can be stressful (especially when loved ones are dealing with the grief that comes with a death), putting plans in place now to help your loved ones avoid probate in the future may be important to some people.

If you are among those who want to help your loved ones sidestep probate later, contact a Santa Clarita probate attorney at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman today to find out more about your estate planning options.

San Fernando & Santa Clarita Probate Attorney at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman

For more than 38 years, the San Fernando & Santa Clarita probate attorneys at the Law offices of Darrell C. Harriman have been dedicated to providing people with the highest quality legal services for all of their probate and estate planning needs.

To discuss legal needs today, contact our firm by calling (818) 946-0412 or by filling out the contact form on this page.

From our offices based in North Hills, we provide the highest quality legal services to our clients throughout the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley, Santa Clarita and the greater Los Angeles area.