I am wondering how people in this forum title their assets (or how people you know title their assets). I am also wondering if anyone has gone through probate in the state of CA (or anywhere for general procedures) or avoided probate via these title designations. What if a relative passes away in a different state from where you live?
I was reading about trusts and discovered there are many different versions out there. Not all of them are just for the wealthy.
POD = payable on death
TOD = transfer on death
JTWROS = joint tenancy with rights of survivorship
How do all of these bypass probate quickly? Is it instant or does the named person have to wait a certain amount of time? What happens with personal property that cannot be "titled" in such a way? With a modest home filled with ordinary belongings (no fine art or collectibles, etc), how much time/money does it take for probate? Who pays the probate costs?
I am curious for several reasons. My grandparents live in one state. DH's parents are just a little younger than my grandparents and live in a different state. My dad lives locally, but owns property in another state in addition to here. DH & I have been discussing all this again and wondering if we made the right choices.
What are the differences when a child is a minor versus a legal adult? Also, California is a community property state. How does that effect the above titles and/or probate processes?
ETA: I shortened the reasons for my curiosity to make it clearer it is a general discussion versus a "what would you do?" scenario. I know the best way to decide for our specific situation is to talk to an estate attorney.
Edited by sunnysandiegan - 5/12/11 at 2:00pm