Probates are up, so here’s how you can deal with and prevent them.

Today we’re going to be talking about an unexpected consequence of COVID: Probates are up. But first, what’s probate, and why are they increasing? Probate is when a will has to be proved as a true document in court. Due to the pandemic, people’s family members are passing away in unexpected circumstances, which is leaving a lot of properties in probate. If you’re in this situation it’s easy to feel stuck.

“Probate is a complex topic, so you need to have the right people on your team.”

Some of our clients have asked if their parent’s will is enough. Sadly, California does not recognize the will if it isn’t in a trust. This means you’d still have to go through the probate process, which is extremely expensive and time-consuming. This situation can even happen with spouses who pass away if the living spouse’s name isn’t on the deed.

Most families just aren’t prepared to deal with this. The best way to solve this situation is to avoid it in the first place. Review your family plan and deed of trust to try and prevent probate. If it’s too late for that, you want to get a good attorney and a good accountant. Probate is a complex topic, so having the right people on your team will make the process a bit easier, saving you a ton of time and thousands of dollars.

If you or someone you know is in this situation, please give us a call. We’d love to help guide you in the right direction. Again, if you don’t have a living trust, we suggest you get one because probates are happening at an alarming rate.