Empathy Estate Planning


Probate is a court-supervised process that ensures that a deceased person’s estate is properly administered. It can be more complicated, expensive and lengthy than trust administration, particularly if the estate is large. The main advantage of Probate is the structure and oversight provided by the court tends to prevent irregularities and willful misconduct by the estate representative. Probate also provides protection against unknown creditors. There are alternatives to Probate which include Spousal Property Petitions for cases where a person dies leaving a surviving spouse or registered domestic partner, and Small Estate Declarations for estates under the then applicable limit ($166,250 as of 2021) Probate fees are set by law in California based on the value of the decedent’s assets.

They are:

  • 4% of the first $100,000
  • 3% of the next $100,000
  • 2% of the next $800,000
  • 1% of the next $9,000,000