Generally, probate will be required to transfer assets in a decedent’s name (not subject to payable on death accounts) to his or her heirs-at-law. However, if the decedent transfers assets out of his or her name into a living trust, then the successor trustee can step in to transfer the decedent’s assets to the beneficiaries named under the decedent’s trust.
However, if the value of assets in a decedent’s name at the time of his/her death is less than a certain amount, then heirs-at-law may be able to avoid probate. Prior to April 1, 2022, that threshold was $166,250. Beginning April 1, 2022, the threshold increases to $184,500. So long as the gross value of a decedent’s real and personal property in California, excluding the property described in Probate Code section 13050, does not exceed $184,500, an Affidavit for Collection of personal property may be used to transfer assets outside of probate. Please contact us with help with such transfers.