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Questions Answered by Jonathan Purcell
4 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Estate Planning for California on
Q: common law marriage and inheritance

My father passed away and left no will. He and my mother were divorced, and he lived with another woman for 18 years unmarried. There are a few small things I would like to have as keepsakes, and his vehicle was in his name alone. As his blood relative am I entitled to these few things? or is... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Mar 6, 2020

In general, common law marriage has not been recognized in California since 1895, with one exception.

If a couple previously lived in a state that recognized common law marriage,

and in the time they lived in that state they fulfilled that state's requirements for common law...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Hello, I have a question regarding a property currently owned in an LLC (see below). Thanks for your answer. Peter

My wife and I own a condo in Los Angeles for about 10 years. It is titled to an LLC ( LLC under both our names) for about 5 years, when we put it out for rent under the LLC business.

Since 1 year, we moved back and live in it. The LLC has no other business at the moment.

Thinking... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Dec 16, 2019

In general a transfer of property between an entity (such as an LLC), to one or more individuals will trigger a change in ownership and a reassessment of property tax. An exclusion provides that transfers between individuals and entities in which the proportional ownership is unchanged are not... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I have a question on CA prop 13 transfer between parent and child.

My mom relocated to a managed care facility last year. If I purchase the home she lived in for 50 yrs, will I be excluded from reassessment of the property and be able to continue getting the prop 13 tax advantages and if so, does it need to be my primary residence?

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Nov 14, 2019

A 'change of ownership' triggers a property tax reassessment.

"... a change in ownership shall not include the following...

(1)(A)The purchase or transfer of real property which is the principal residence of an eligible transferor in the case of a purchase or transfer between...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: I have a will and my uncle says he has a will, what should I do for my grandmothers wishes?

Grandmother left will and testament with me her grandson put me on her bank accounts and retirements accounts. My uncle swooped in when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and took her the same day she was diagnosed to get a will done. What should I do and what are my rights to the things she... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Nov 11, 2019

In general, assets that are in the form of beneficiary designations through banks and investment firms do not pass through a will or testamentary trust. You will present your ID and a certified death certificate at the financial institutions that hold the accounts.

The information...
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: As a heir, do I have to pay capital gains on money I recvd from property sold from a Testamentary Trust in California?

My mom has 6 rental homes. She just died. It appears to be a 50/50 split, with her trust and my father's who died in 1971. Trusts list me and my 3 brothers as beneficiaries. The properties are to be sold. I have heard the capital gains tax will be 33% or more.

Thank you

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Oct 25, 2019

Capital Gains are the difference between the basis of property and the sale price of property (less selling costs).

Basis of property during life is the original purchase price of property (with adjustments).

Post-mortem basis is adjusted to the Date of Death Fair Market Value,...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for California on
Q: My sister is my mothers conservator and the successor trustee she refuses to provide any type of accounting.

She is selling a house that is willed to me. i know she is steeling assets i have not had an accounting of the trust since she took it over can i do anything i can only afford a few thousand dollars.

I would also like more info so i can do my own will at one time the estate was worth more... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Aug 27, 2019

In California, Conservator is required to provide an accounting to the court one year after a Conservator is appointed, and every two years thereafter.

A Conservator may use 'substituted judgement' to change testamentary documents such as wills and trusts, but past donative conduct, as...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Uncle and i bought house as joint tenants he was married title sole and separate property. He passed away

Wife now wants half the property and to be added to title. I paid the last 20 years of Home including bills & maintenance (home now paid off) can she still claim half no will

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Jul 16, 2019

The surviving joint tenant(s) file(s) an "Affidavit of Death - Joint Tenant", along with a death certificate, and a "Preliminary Change of Ownership Report" (PCOR), as well as paying a filing fee. Decedent's share is distributed the remaining joint tenant(s) on the deed.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: I live in California. I am disabled. If Both parents pass without a will., Will I inherit their homes automatically?
Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Jun 12, 2019

In general, property that passes by way of a will, a trust, or through intestacy (no will) does not pass automatically.

But certain types of property such as a payable on death bank or brokerage accounts, may pass to the beneficiary automatically.

If you receive public benefits...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: How are my capital gaines determined on a property I purchased in 1989 in CA?

How are capital gaines determined when property i owned jointly and you are the last surviving owner

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Apr 24, 2019

1. In general, basis is the purchase price of property plus capital improvements, less accumulated depreciation.

2. On death, basis is revalued at the date of death fair market value (DOD FMV), usually by appraisal.

see, 26 U.S. Code § 1014

3. If the spouses each held...
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