A: Yes! In California, decedent’s estates with a fair market value of more than $184,500 must go through a formal probate in court to be administered and eventually distributed to the decedent’s heirs. One way to avoid probate is to create a trust and transfer your assets to the trust. This will allow your family to avoid costly probate fees. In California, probate fees are set by law as a percentage of the value of the assets of the estate. A probate estate valued at $600,000 would cost $30,000 in probate fees to administer ($15,000 each to the executor of the estate and the executor’s attorney). Creating an estate plan that includes a trust and administering the trust after death will cost significantly less than probate in the vast majority of cases. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you decide what the best way to proceed is for you and your family.