If you die with a Will or without a Will ("Intestate"), OR if your Revocable Living Trust is unfunded, or improperly funded, in most cases a Probate proceeding will be necessary to transfer your assets to your heirs/beneficiaries.
A Probate is a court proceeding which takes a minimum of 6 months to complete, your estate becomes a matter of public record, and there are significant costs and Attorney's Fees involved. For example, for a $350,000 estate, the Probate Fees and Costs may exceed $30,000!
This can all be avoided by a properly drafted and funded Living Trust.
Mr. Lieberman has qualified as an expert in Probate Law in the California Superior Court.
Living Trust Administration
If you die with a Living Trust, which is properly funded, no Probate proceeding will be required!
What most people do not understand however, is that the same procedures that are required by law in a Probate, are in most cases, also required in a Trust Administration, BUT WITHOUT COURT SUPERVISION, and without the Costs and Fees associated with Probate.
Generally, Trust Administration is governed by Probate Code Section 16061.7. There are very strict Notice Requirements to Beneficiaries, Heirs, "Public Entities", Taxing Authorities, and Creditors.
In many cases, for tax purposes, appraisals of the assets are advisable. Special forms must be filed with the County Assessor's Office, Personal and Fiduciary Income Tax Returns must be filed, Creditors must be paid and releases obtained, the Trustee must render a full Accounting and Report of Administration, and Distribution of Assets.