For the purposes of closing out an estate and probate court, an inventory of assets must be completed in order to recognize the value of the estate.

A probated estate can be expensive and time consuming, so it is important to think about this well in advance by completing the appropriate beneficiary designations and titling to minimize challenges for your loved ones. One of the most common reasons to use a trust and work with an estate planning lawyer is to be proactive in reducing how much of your estate goes through CA probate.

Most assets will go through the probate process, but this does not apply to all of them. Non-probate assets are transferred directly to the party designated to receive them without the probate court getting involved. These include joint ownership with survivor rights and property with a designated beneficiary, such as a life insurance policy.

Assets that must be included in an inventory for probate purposes include those that are titled only in the name of the decedent don’t qualify as a non-probate asset or held jointly as tenants in common. There will also be lots of personal property items, such as appliances or furniture that do not have title documents.

All of these are subject to probate and need to be included on the inventory filed formally with the probate court. Set up a time to speak with a trusted estate planning attorney to learn more about this process.

There’s a clear difference between probated and non-probated assets in California. If you need more support on defining a comprehensive estate plan for all the assets you own, an inventory is the first step and contacting a Pasadena estate planning lawyer is the second.

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