When someone dies their debts have to be paid and their assets distributed. At the most basic level probate is the judicial, court process of determining the rightful heirs to a decedents property and distributing those assets accordingly. Probate arises when the total assets exceed $150,000 and do not pass through a vehicle such as a trust or a beneficiary designation. Unlike a trust, a will does not avoid probate. The assets will be allocated and distributed in accordance with the will once the judge approves that will or if there is no will then the distribution is set by statute. Probate in California is lengthy, protracted and costly and should be avoided. However, if you find yourself facing the complicated probate process we can guide you through and help ensure that every aspect is handled seamlessly and correctly.