Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Questions Answered by Thomas E. Rossmeissl
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Hi I’m in California my dad passed he is married but not to my mom. He didn’t have a will or trust.

I want to know if legally I’m entitled to his personal property he had before marriage. What can I do to go about getting this property into my possession?

Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Thomas E. Rossmeissl answered on Apr 5, 2018

You should consult with an attorney near you for advice. If your father had no will or trust, then there is a possibility that you are a beneficiary to a portion of his estate. Under California's law of intestacy, the community property will pass to the surviving spouse, and any... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: In Calif, doesthe executor of a living trust have to be a resident of Calif
Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Thomas E. Rossmeissl answered on Apr 5, 2018

An executor is the person who will administer a will through probate. A trustee is who will administer the trust. There is no restriction on who can serve as trustee, and an executor of the estate does not have to be a resident of California.

If the estate is going through probate and a...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My spouse and I had a simple (restated) spousal trust designed to continue. She died, do I need a new Cert. of Trust?

Attorney prepared Memorandum of Trust with original Declaration of Trust in 2001. Trust was restated in 2013 (but not the Memorandum). I would like to have Document to give to financial institutions so as to not have to fill out a new Certification for each one.

Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Thomas E. Rossmeissl answered on Apr 5, 2018

If there has been a change in the trust name, or a change in the trustee, you will likely need a new certification off trust. The attorney who assisted you should be able to prepare it fairly easily. The other option is to complete whatever certification forms provided by the financial... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: I inherited a home from my Mother. I have durable power of attorney and a will. The will was signed by my Mom.

With three witnesses signatures as well. In the will she left everything to me. I have four siblings and no one will contest. The will was not notarized. With these documents can I get on title immediately.

Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Thomas E. Rossmeissl answered on Apr 5, 2018

You will need to probate the will before you can take title to the property. The procedure involves preparing and filing a petition for probate, having the will admitted to probate and getting someone (you, or whoever is named as executor) appointed to administer the estate. From that point on,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I’m executor of an estate. Step bro. Opened probate without awill. Won’t relesase possessions. What do I do?

How do I join the two probates or make them release posessions?

Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Thomas E. Rossmeissl answered on Apr 5, 2018

There should be only one probate of the estate. If two have been opened, one will have to be closed. Usually, the first to file should continue, assuming that it was filed in the correct jurisdiction, and if there is a battle over which of the two of you should proceed to administer the estate,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Is there a need to delay probate estate distribution until 2019 if decedent had no income source as of Oct 2017 (DOD)

Executor and myself are the beneficiaries, probate assets are all liquidated and in the estate acct. The court can be petitioned close probate as of May 1, 2018. Payments/fees left to come out of the estate are capital gains on the house sale, court referee fee, legal and executor fees. Executor... Read more »

Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Thomas E. Rossmeissl answered on Apr 5, 2018

There does not seem to be any need to delay closing the estate for that long. The executor will have to file a final fiduciary income tax return, and may have income taxes to pay, and will likely incur expenses to do so. If the final return has already been filed, though, then there is no need to... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Elder Law for California on
Q: My 80 yo aunt was declared incapacitated by 2 doctors. What is the next step? Is there a time constraint to act?

We have a living trust of which I am the sole beneficiary. She has Medi-Cal and is staying in a care center. Her share of cost and rent on her mobile home space is barely covered by her pension. I may need to sell the home but want to avoid Medi-Cal recovery. She objects to selling anything, she... Read more »

Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Thomas E. Rossmeissl answered on Mar 6, 2018

You should consult with an experienced elder law attorney, one who has expertise in Medi-Cal planning and Medi-Cal recovery. The rules are complex, and you could easily take a well-intentioned step that could disqualify your aunt from benefits.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I was left with property any thing that can be touched or moved. Animal rescue was left the house property that couldnt

Found some bonds in house in hiding place. Do the bonds belong to me

Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Thomas E. Rossmeissl answered on Mar 6, 2018

The specific terms of the decedent's Will should control, and any ambiguity will have to be resolved by the court. Since the estate includes real property, it is very likely that a probate administration will be required. You should consider consulting with an experienced probate attorney... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: My 95 year old mother originally had a living trust naming myself and my 2 sisters as executors.

One of my sisters who lives with my mom recently took her to an attorney to "preserve her property and her trust".

How can I find out if I have been remover as an executor and beneficiary? My mom is currently in a nursing home and

is unable to answer any questions.

Thank you.

Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Thomas E. Rossmeissl answered on Mar 2, 2018

Generally, you do not have any right to know how your mother's estate plan is structured. But, if you suspect that your sister has taken advantage of your mother, or has exercised undue influence over her to get her estate plan changed, then you may want to consult with an experienced trusts... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My great-grandmother left me $6,000 in 2010 in her Will... my mother recently admitted that she kept the money .

Can I take legal action against my mom to receive the 6k?

Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Thomas E. Rossmeissl answered on Mar 2, 2018

If your mother stole the $6,000 that was to be distributed to you, then you may have a claim against her and you could file suit to enforce your rights. There are a number of potential complications that you would want to discuss with an attorney, including how your mother received the money on... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: How is money paid back to an estate?

Prior to my father's death I had borrowed money from him. He stated in his will this must be paid back. My question is do I pay back the estate and then the proceeds would be divided equally between siblings or does my amount owed come out of my portion of the inheritance? As you can see it... Read more »

Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Thomas E. Rossmeissl answered on Mar 6, 2018

You should follow what the will says to do. Generally, though, the money you owe to your father is an asset of the estate and its value should be included when determining the total that is to be divided among the beneficiaries. When your share is calculated, the debt could be allocated to your... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: How long does probate take after death. What happens when there is a morgage?
Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Thomas E. Rossmeissl answered on Mar 2, 2018

How long a probate administration takes to complete depends on how complex the assets are, how difficult it is to gather them into the estate, whether there are any creditors who have claims against the estate and whether those claims turn into litigation to resolve, and a number of other factors.... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: If my brother is on my mother's living trust and is past on .Who receives his share of the trust.thxs much
Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Thomas E. Rossmeissl answered on Mar 6, 2018

The trust should specify how the assets are to be distributed, and a well-drafted trust takes into account the possibility that the named beneficiaries are not alive when the settlor (your mother) dies. Some are prepared so that the deceased beneficiary's share would pass to his own children... Read more »

View More Answers

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.