Most relatively simple estates cash publicly traded securities small amounts of other easily valued assets and no special deductions or elections or jointly held property do not require the filing of an estate tax return a filing is required for estates with combined gross assets and prior taxable gifts exceeding 1500000 in 2004 2005 2000000 in 2006 2008 3500000 for . If the estate qualifies anyone entitled to inherit property from the decedent whether as a beneficiary under the will or an heir under intestate succession laws may settle the estate and obtain title or possession of the property with these simplified probate transfer procedures in most cases the procedure can be completed shortly after the initial 40 day waiting period. Any estate that includes real property worth more than 55425 effective 1 1 2020 requires probate however there are small estate proceedings that can be used to settle estates having real property valued under 166250 these alternative proceedings can be completed much quicker and are less expensive than the full probate process keep in mind that these values are gross estate values and . Simple estate checklist the checklist below shows basic parts in settling a simple estate in california each part is explained later in the book this list may appear a bit intimidating at first not every situation requires all of these parts and some are quite straightforward as with so many other things in life probating a simple estate
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