Q: I only own one property here in Napa, and it still has a sizable mortgage on it. Do I still need a trust for my children to avoid probate upon my death?

 

#WednesdayWisdom

 

A: Yes, without a trust that property is destined for probate, and here’s why: The current law states that if the fair market value of the property is greater than $166,250 – and it’s hard to imagine a home in the Napa area that is worth less than $166,250 – then it is subject to probate, whether it has a mortgage or not.  What seems even more unfair about the probate system in California is that the fees and costs are calculated on the gross value of the property and not on the equity you have in it.  For this reason, the living trust is such an essential tool: it is generally considered the best and most effective way to avoid the probate court entirely when you need to transfer real property assets to your heirs.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to reach out to us (707-681-5851 or [email protected]) or set up a complimentary consultation at your convenience by clicking on the following link: https://MyNapaLawyer.as.me/