John Marshall Collins, Attorney
John Marshall Collins, P.C.
50 W. San Fernando St., #400
San Jose, California 95113      
Phone (408) 287-9001
Fax     (408) 852-0309
 
   

Why Avoid Probate

  • If you die without a will:

    State law will determine who gets your property and how it will be divided, ignoring your preferences.

    The Probate Court will appoint a Guardian to make decisions and manage money for any minor children. The person you would have chosen as Guardian may not be selected.

    The Probate Court will appoint an Administrator to handle your estate and run your business before it is distributed to your heirs and require the Administrator to pay for a bond with your money. The person you would have chosen as Administrator may not be selected.

    Your financial situation will become a matter of public record and your family's financial privacy will be impaired.

    It may take more than a year (in some probate cases, much more) to complete the probate and distribute the assets to your heirs. As long as the Probate Court has control of the estate, your family will have to ask the Court's permission to sell real estate, conduct the sale of a business, and otherwise manage your affairs. Under these circumstances, it is difficult to manage assets for growth or obtain fair values for assets that are to be sold.

    The money available to your family will be partly used up by probate costs, including Administrator's fees, Guardian's fees, probate referee's fees, attorney's fees, and court costs.

    You may incur estate taxes that could have been avoided.

  • If you die without a will - but do not have a living trust:
    You will be able to say who gets your property and how it is to be divided and to nominate the proper Executor for the estate and the proper Guardian for minor children.

    You can plan to avoid as much estate tax as possible.

    Your family money will still be diminished by probate costs, including Executor's and Guardian's fees, attorney's fees, and court costs. You will be able to avoid bonding costs.

    You will still have the delay, irritation, and difficulty of dealing with the Probate Court and your financial situation will still be made public in the probate proceedings.

  • If you have a living trust when you die:
    You will be able to say who gets your property, to nominate the proper Administrator for the estate and the proper Guardian for minor children, and to avoid bonding costs.

    You can plan to avoid as much estate tax as possible.

    You can preserve your family's financial privacy.

    You can completely avoid the costs, delays, and difficulties of probate, minimizing attorney's fees and eliminating Executor's and Guardian's fees, court costs, and bonding costs. Assets are immediately available and can be managed without Court interference
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