How to Avoid Probate - Intestacy vs. Will vs. Trust
Intestacy - If you do nothing then the California Probate Code sets forth who will inherit your assets and the Probate Court will supervise the entire process. See:
Will - You pass away owning assets then the Probate Court will supervise the transfer to your heirs. If you have a Will the court will honor your wishes but will supervise
the entire process.
Trust - Legally transfers ownership of your assets to your trust, which, doesn't die (it is called a living document). When you pass away your trust may become irrevocable
but it continues on and therefore your assets are out of your name and the Probate Court doesn't have jurisdiction over them. Your Trust acts like a contract to pass your assets to who you
want in the manner you want. Voilà - probate avoided! *Just be sure your assets are properly funded into your trust.