A simplified procedure is available under California probate law to settle estates with assets that do not surpass a certain threshold, making it a “small estate.” In a small estate, you can use an affidavit to transfer decedent’s assets, and avoid a formal probate proceeding in the California probate courts. The legal requirements have changed as of January 1, 2020 to qualify as a small estate.
What Is Considered A Small Estate In CA?
As of January 1, 2020, the answer is: $166,250 or less. The old amount of assets to be considered a small estate in California was $150,000.
$166,250 is also the new limit for small estate affidavits under California probate code section 13100.
For small estate affidavits to transfer real property in California the limit increased to $55,425 from $50,000. See California Probate Code section 13200.
Now Californians can avoid probate if the decedent’s total estate does not exceed the new limit of $166,250
How Do You Determine If The Estate Qualifies As a Small Estate Under California Law?
To determine whether the decedent’s assets qualify as a small estate in CA, include the value of decedent’s personal and real property. If the assets are valued at $166,250 or less, the estate is considered a small estate under the new California law.