Trust vs. Probate


Discuss Your Options with Our Los Angeles Legal Team

If a loved one has passed away and their property (known as "estate") needs to go through Probate, our Los Angeles legal team at the Law Offices of Maria N. Jonsson, PC stands at the ready to help you navigate this complex court process.

If you are simply considering estate planning (specifically, whether to only set up a Will, or to set up a living Trust), your decisions today may determine whether your Estate will go through Probate upon your death, or not. If you place all your assets into a Living Trust, Probate is generally fully avoided (provided that during your life you transferred your property into your Trust).Conversely - Wills generally go through Probate.

Trust Administration is:

  • Much less costly;
  • Much faster to complete
  • Is a completely private process that stays out of the courtroom, and none of your family affairs or property becomes public record, as it does in Probate.

If you own real property in other States (besides California), a Trust will centralize the administration process and make it simpler and less expensive to administer. Without a Trust, each real property would need to go through Probate in the corresponding County and State where such property is located. This is why it is critical to transfer into your Living Trust any real property that you own anywhere in the United States.

In addition to helping your family avoid Probate, a Living Trust can manage your assets in the event of your illness, disability, or incapacity. Moreover, a Living Trust offers additional protections to its ultimate beneficiaries - from their creditors, from judgments, legal process (such as divorce or bankruptcy) or from themselves (such as - when a beneficiary is afflicted with substance abuse dependence). These asset protections are simply not available in the Probate setting.

To discuss your options with an experienced Trust and Estate attorney when deciding whether you need only a Will or a Living Trust, reach out to our Firm by contacting us online or by calling (424) 383-8445 today.

Finding the Right Legal Solution for You and Your Family

In some instances where the total value of your property might be below a certain threshold, Probate will not be needed. Also, certain assets can pass to beneficiaries without Probate by operation of law – such as life insurance policies, jointly held accounts, or assets with a designated “pay on death” beneficiary. Learn more about such non-Probate transfers here.

Developing an effective Estate plan requires that you understand your options, know the applicable California Probate laws, be mindful of property tax laws, and other legal and practical considerations. At the Law Offices of Maria N. Jonsson, PC we conduct a personalized assessment of your assets, your beneficiaries, the family dynamic, and other relevant factors before recommending a strategy that will save you and your loved ones the most time and money. Ultimately, the ease with which your beneficiaries receive your property upon death will depend on the complexity of your Estate Plan as well as the circumstances of the beneficiaries themselves (are they facing legal troubles of their own? are they disabled? are they under age of majority?, etc.). Retaining legal counsel to guide you with setting up the right Estate Plan for you will make a world of difference for your family and heirs. Such estate plan will anticipate and avoid conflicts, and will protect your beneficiaries from creditors and - sometimes - from themselves.

Call (424) 383-8445 or contact us online to schedule your consultation. 

The Law Offices of Maria N. Jonsson, PC Is Here for You

At the Law Offices of Maria N. Jonsson, PC, we focus on Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration only. We deliver hands-on, detailed and compassionate professional guidance with every aspect of your case.

Contact Us Today

Attorney Maria N. Jonsson, Esq. is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. The Law Offices of Maria N. Jonsson, PC is committed to providing a comprehensive and holistic analysis of your specific circumstances as they relate to Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration issues in California. Schedule a one-on-one discussion of your case with Attorney Jonsson directly.