What is a decedent’s estate?
“Decedent’s estate” is a formal way of referring to property left when a person dies. The “decedent” is the person who has died, and their “estate” is the property they owned at the time of death. In California, a decedent’s estate can be distributed in one of three ways: as a “small estate” under $150,000; in probate court as an independent probate proceeding (when the decedent left a will naming an executor); or in probate court as a court-supervised estate (when the decedent did not leave a will or name an executor).
Does every estate have to go through court?
If there is little property in the estate, or the person planned their estate to avoid probate with a trust or other probate avoidance tactics, court may not be necessary.