If you are concerned about saving your family the lengthy probate process in California, consider a pour-over will when setting up your estate. While the process requires your assets to go through probate at your death, it stops intestate succession from occurring. It is natural to have questions when planning your estate.
What does a pour-over will cover?
A pour-over will covers any asset not covered in your trust at the time of your death. These assets may intentionally be left out or be an oversight.
Do these assets go through probate?
These assets must still go through probate in most cases. You can set up a trust that these assets will fund at the time of your death. Then, you can leave directions in your will on how you want the assets in the estate trust distributed. The trust can be either an irrevocable or revocable one. This process eliminates anyone from making decisions that do not agree with your wishes.
How can intestate succession affect your assets?
Intestate succession can occur if you die with assets not included in a trust or will. The court will decide who gets your property and assets. Usually, they will pass to your spouse, then to your biological and adopted children, but it is solely up to the judge’s discretion. If the state cannot find a biological relative, then the state gets to keep your assets.
Creating a pour-over will covers the assets that you do not name in a revocable or irrevocable trust so that your wishes are followed at the time of your death.