How Long Does the Probate Process Take?

The legal process of probate can be a factor when postmortem asset transfers are taking place. In the state of California, if you are transferring more than $150,000  to someone other than your spouse, the estate will most likely have to pass through the probate process. Property can be claimed with a simple affidavit if the estate is valued at less than $150,000 as long as there is no real estate that is valued in excess of $50,000. It is also possible to transfer assets to your spouse outside of probate using a spousal property petition. There are certain types of asset transfers that are not subject to the probate process. Life insurance proceeds would be paid to the beneficiaries directly, and the probate court would not be involved.  However a probate may be needed if you identified your beneficiary as my estate . You can add a beneficiary when you open a bank account or a brokerage account. These accounts are called transfer on death (TOD) or payable on death (POD) accounts
http://www.norcalplanners.com/blog/probate/long-probate-process/

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