03 Nov A San Francisco Housecall Helps Avoid Probate
Ian, in our Oakland office recently made a housecall to San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood–not something we generally do–but the elderly homeowner, while generally in good health, had trouble navigating the steps down to the street. When Ian arrived, all four kids were there to greet him at the door. We rarely get this kind of reception!
Happy memories growing up in the shadow of Candlestick
This is a family with many happy memories growing up in this home. From their balcony that let out onto the street, they would host BBQs before 49er games. On game day, the whole neighborhood would hang out in front of their home–which is, by the way, completely paid for.
Being proactive to avoid probate
But their neighborhood is gentrifying and they know their mother is sitting on some pretty valuable real estate; they estimate their family home is worth $750K. But mom’s getting old, and of course she doesn’t have a Trust. Without a Trust, at mom’s death, probate would cost a minimum of $21,000.
This is a working-class family, only one of them owns his own home, they don’t have that kind of money among them, so they’d have to sell the house–which they don’t want to do. They’d rather keep that house than split up the money. “We see this situation often–kids have an intense desire to hang onto the family home or other real estate–it’s not just sentiment–many families are being priced out of the Bay Area real estate market, so these old family homes are very valuable.”
This story has a happy ending
Ian is helping this proactive family prepare a Trust that will be affordable for them, and when mom dies, the home will not go into probate. What they do with this house is up to them and their families. The important thing is that this home and all of its wonderful memories will remain in their family.