Can probate be avoided?

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
If a person dies without a trust, probate will generally be necessary. However, if the total value of real and personal property assets of the estate are less than one-hundred thousand dollars, a 'summary' probate may be possible. A summary probate allows a simple petition to be filed in court to transfer the real property, and an affidavit (aff-ih-DAVE-it)procedure to transfer personal property. In addition, real property held in joint tenancy or held as community property and passing to a surviving spouse, may not be subject to probate. However, not going through probate in the case of community property may not always be the best option. A probate action will require debtors to file claims for the money owed to them or lose all rights. The summary procedure will leave the community property subject to all debts. For more information about using a summary probate procedure, please contact an attorney.

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