What is Probate?
It is a judicial process for distributing an estate after death. In states, such as California, the process tends to be notorious for being expensive, lengthy and public. However, it is an established process and it is not necessarily as “horrific” as it is often portrayed. However, it is clear that if your family can avoid it, it should. A probate can only take place for certain kinds of assets.
What assets are subject to probate?
All assets in your individual name are subject to probate except for those that are tied to a contract to distributed after death in a specific way or are joint assets. So life insurance and beneficiary designated retirement plans are not
Is there an advantage to probate?
If your family and circle of friends are composed of the untrustworthy, and your estate is too small for a professional fiduciary (unlikely) but too large to avoid probate (small estates can avoid it), the last will and testament-based estate plan may be a good idea. But this is rare. In fact, I have never seen it. You should endeavor to avoid probate.
Does Probate make Islamic Inheritance impossible?
Not necessarily. With cooperation from all the parties concerned, it is possible to fix almost any mess, so long as there is a will on the part of the living, all of them do make it so, or it may be the individual circumstances of the individual allowed for an inheritance to be distributed properly. It is inadvisable however to rely on probate for Islamic Inheritance, however.
Does the government take all my money in Probate?
The answer to this is almost always no. There is a process of an estate “escheating” to the state if there are no other heirs. The state getting everything is rare, though. However, when it does happen, it is because no family members can be located. This is a special risk with immigrants, though it is rare.
What is an estate too small for probate?
As of this writing (2017) in California, it is $150,000 in gross assets. There is sometimes more to it than that, but this is a good rule of thumb.