When a person dies with just a few assets not otherwise formally disposed of, California law provides for “small estate procedures” to handle those assets. Until December 31, 2011, the limits for a “small estate” to be handled with those procedures have been $100,000 in general assets and up to $20,000 in real estate.
Starting January 1, 2012, the new limits will be $150,000 in general assets and up to $50,000 in real estate.
AB 1676, passed during the 2005 Legislative session, makes further changes to California’s little-known Healthcare Directive Registry. California law allows registration of an Advance Health Care Directive with the Secretary of State; the new legislation directs the Secretary of State to work with the Attorney General and the Department of Health Services to develop written information about Advance Health Care Directives, and to make that information available on the websites of the Secretary of State, the Department of Health Services, the Attorney General, the Department of Managed Health Care, the Department of Insurance, the Board of Registered Nursing, and the Medical Board of California.
Last year, the California Legislature passed – and Governor Schwarzenegger signed – legislation (AB 12) directing the California Law Review Commission to study California’s current methods for transferring property at death, the methods used in other states for transferring property at death, and to consider whether or not California should allow the use of “Ladybird” or “beneficiary deeds”. What is a Ladybird deed, and why should you care?
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