The new law, known as AB 1305, was signed by Governor Brown and increases the threshold value for formal probate proceedings from $100,000 to $150,000 and the threshold value for real property (i.e. pieces of land, simple homes and timeshares) from $20,000 to $50,000. According to Newport Beach probate attorney Darlynn Morgan, this is great news for individuals who die in California without significant assets.
“The changes to the law are very consumer friendly and designed to help people with smaller estates avoid the expenses and delays of the probate court after death,” says Orange County probate attorney Darlynn Morgan. “Under the new law, more costly probate procedures won’t kick in until the higher threshold of $150,000 in assets or $50,000 in real property matters are met,” Morgan adds.
Besides helping heirs to avoid costly fees applied to already meager estates, California probate attorney of Morgan Law Group also says changes to the probate code in California are “long overdue,” as there has not been any significant change to the law in the past 15 years. However, Darlynn Morgan warns that these changes should not deter people of all financial backgrounds to have a formal estate plan.
“These laws only come into play when someone dies,” warns Morgan. “Lower net worth individuals may now be able to avoid probate without a formal estate plan, but they still need to legally document who can handle their personal, financial and health matters if disability or incapacity should ever occur” she says.
For more information on changes to the California probate code or the impact it may have on local residents that pass away in 2012, please visit www.morganlawgroup.com or call Orange County probate attorney Darlynn Morgan at (949) 260-1400.
ABOUT DARLYNN MORGAN – California Will and Trust Attorney
Darlynn Morgan and Morgan Law Group is a Southern California Probate Attorney / Estate Planning Lawyer / Wills & Living Trusts Law Firm Serving: Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego & all of Southern California
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