What is the Best Way to Settle Your Estate?

California has several options to settle an Estate

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Assets in Joint Tenancy

An owner of property co-owned in Joint Tenancy can quickly remove a deceased co-owner from title through a non-court affidavit process. In the case of real property, an affidavit is recorded which verifies the death of the joint tenant/co-owner. A court proceeding is not required to transfer assets to the surviving joint tenant.

Assets in Living Trust

An estate fully funded through a Revocable Living Trust does not require California probate. The Successor Trustee is responsible for notifying and distributing the trust assets to the trust beneficiaries. This trust administration process does not require filing a court proceeding. Were assets were inadvertently left out of the Trust? You may be able to file a Heggstad Petition. Click here for more info.

Special Spousal Proceedings

A Spousal Property petition is a way to transfer or confirm real and/or personal property to a surviving spouse without having to file a full probate proceeding. A Spousal petition cannot transfer estate assets that may be due to other heirs. A Petition is filed with the court and requires at least one court hearing.

Estates with Land or House

Estates with real property can be settled in several ways, depending on the size of the estate. There are small estate court proceedings:

1) estates under $55,425
2) estates over $55,425 but less than $166,250. For estates over $166,250, the estate may require a full probate.

Estates Without Land or House

Estates with personal property valued less than $166,250 can be quickly settled be a non-court probate affidavit. Estates valued over $166,250 may require a full probate proceeding and appointment of a personal representative to represent the estate.

Get Started

Low Flat Fees for All Probate Services

Here is a brief outline of how a probate case is started with our company

1. Complete our easy online worksheet
2. A People’s Choice prepares your probate documents
3. Client returns signed documents to A People’s Choice
4. A People’s Choice files petition and obtains hearing date.

5. A People’s Choice arranges newspaper publication.
6. Probate notes are checked for pre-approval
7. Hearing is held.
8. Letters and Order issued by court.

Your probate case has made it through Phase 1 and on its way to a final distribution

Remember – ProbatebyME is not simply a forms service. Our experienced probate staff will manage your probate case until it is completed!

Does Your Estate Qualify For an Easier Probate Alternative?

Refer to the Flip Charts Below for Detailed Information

A Probate Solution for Every Need with Pricing for Every Budget!


Joint Tenancy Assets

Transfer real property to surviving tenant without probate

Assets in Joint Tenancy

• Remove Co-Owner Joint Tenant
• Fast and Easy
• Timetable: 1-10 days
• Does not require Court hearing
• Recording fee required
• No Reassessment


Assets Under $166,250

Transfer personal property assets outside of a court proceeding

Assets Under $166,250

• Personal Property Only
• No Real Property or Land
• Value Under $166,250
• Wait 40 days after death

• Timetable: 1-10 Days
• Non-Court process


Real Property Under $55,425

Transfer low value real and personal property through court process.

Real Property Under $55,425

• Estates with Real Property/Land
• Assets Under $55,425
• 2-3 Month Process
• All Heirs Petition
• Wait 6 months after death
• No other CA proceedings
• No Court Hearing
• Requires Inventory


Real Property Under $166,250

Transfer Real and Personal Property through fast small estate proceeding.

Real Property Less $166,250

• Estates with Real Property
• Value Under $166,250
• All Heirs Petition
• Wait 40 days after death
• Timetable: 2-4 months
• Court Appearance Required
• Inventory and Appraisal Required


Spousal Petition

Transfer community/separate property assets to surviving spouse.

Spousal Petition

• Estates with Real or Personal Property
• Spouse Must Petition
• No Maximum Value
• Timetable: 2-4 months
• No Waiting Period

• Court Appearance Required
• No Inventory and Appraisal Required


Estates Over $166,250

For large estates with real/personal property assets over $166,250.

Estates Over $166,250

• Settles large estates
• Distributes real and personal property
• Timetable: 7-10 months
• Appoints personal representative
• Letters Issued

• Inventory and Appraisal Required

Fees are for document preparation services only and do not include any court filing fees, recording fees or other third-party costs.