Is There a Way to Reduce the Cost of Probate?
In some cases, yes.
California has a simplified court procedure which can be used for very small estates. This procedure is available where the decedent owns no real property and less than $150,000 in other assets. This figure is based upon the gross value of the assets, not the value after mortgages or other liens are taken into account. This procedure is not available for handling most estates.
California has also adopted the Independent Administration of Estates Act ("IAEA"). Probate Code Section 10400 et seq. If the executor of a Will or the administrator of the Estate obtains permission from the Court under this Act, he or she avoid some of the time and expense involved by selling, exchanging, granting an option to purchase or borrowing money secured by an encumbrance on real property owned by the Estate.
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