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Questions Answered by Genene N. Dunn
3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Judge has just granted me Admin. with full authority to manage estate BUT I'm confused bcuz the bank accts are blocked.

So what do i do about the bank accts being blocked? The Order does say FULL AUTHORITY to manage UNDER THE ESTATE ACT. Seems contradicting to me. Is this normal? Or is there a step I'm missing to get those bank accts unblocked?

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Sep 11, 2019

Full Authority really only has to do with real property and gives the administrator the authority to sell real property. Your order might say full authority but in item 5 might refer to blocked accounts which lets you avoid the bond.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Day grandma died caretaker&grandma son locked me out of house.Im only child lived w/her all my life. I sat on curb hours

THEY CALLED COPS on me! That was my house Im sole owner on title i told cops. They wanted me to show them Grant Deed but how if I didn't have anything on me but my car key! Caretaker and grandma son was saying i have NO RIGHTS BCUZ IM ONLY GRANDDAUGHTER and he is her only living son "NEXT OF KIN" I... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Aug 14, 2019

You need to start with how title is held on the property. This all depends if the house was only in your grandmother's name or if you were on title. If you were on title then it depends how you were on title. If you were not on title then the heirs depend upon the family tree. If the son is your... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My brother died 4/2019 his wife POA there is a living trust and will wife refuse to share with his family. Options avail

My brother left 3 kids, grandkids, mother. Property joint ownership with wife. Wife not cooperatve with my family. My brother verbally expressed before his passing that his family would be taking care of.

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Jul 9, 2019

The wife's rights depends on her relationship to the other family members mentioned (are they her kids too?). Also, it depends on whether his assets were community property assets or separate property assets and what the trust says. If the children are adults, they will have more rights as you as a... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: There was trust. House and IRA's. Two siblings got IRA's. Two divided house. Quitclaim deed. When one dies?

Do siblings get half or does one get all ownership?

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Jul 8, 2019

Each owner of an IRA gets to choose who the beneficiary is on that account upon the account holder's death. The distribution of the house depends on how they hold title. If in joint tenancy between the siblings then the other would get the entire property upon the first death. If they hold as... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: my dad had no will , no wife am i entitled to his 2,3 million dollar estate?

my parents were divorced but friends they own two houses on the same lot she lived in the front house he in the back she was power of attorney before he died and now she is telling myself, brother and sister she is beneficiary to all his bank accounts and stocks, and cashed all the stocks in and... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Apr 23, 2019

Your dad could have put her as a beneficiary on accounts. It depends on when he would have done that to determine if that would be a valid designation. However, for the real property you probably have more rights if there were no will or trust and only he was on title.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: How do i become a payee on a trust account for a friend who is aasking for help
Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Apr 1, 2019

If you are asking how you get on a trust account at a bank, you generally have to be a trustee in order to be on a trust account. There are many different options if the current trustee needs help that an attorney can assist with.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Could irrevocable trust from California by dissolved or amended in this example?

Trust A is generation skipping. Trust B is divided amongst children. Standard HEMS. Otherwise beneficiaries cannot take out money, only what trust generates. Each settlor is deceased, one very recently and he hadn’t been of sound mind for years. Trust was made when tax exempt rate was $600,000.... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Apr 1, 2019

Yes, a trust can be set aside if you can show the court that all beneficiaries agree or that circumstances have changed according to Probate Code Section 15409. The courts are getting tons of these petitions now with the higher exemption and older trusts that planned for a low exemption amount. It... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My father passed and his ex-wife just wants to get her name off the title & I'm the only sibling how should I do this?

My father had no will and the ex-wife want's nothing to do with the property how do I go about getting her name off the title? Do I need to go through probate court? Or what kind of attorney would handle type of situation?

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Mar 13, 2019

It depends exactly how the deed reads. Most likely it will be pretty straightforward for the ex-wife to get off title as long as she continues to cooperate. If she changes her mind about signing off her interest then you might have to dig a little deeper on the divorce and file documents in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Legal Malpractice for California on
Q: The executor/trustee of my mother's trust has not provided an accounting with bill payments, receipts, actions, etc.

The executor/trustee of my mother's trust has not provided an accounting with bill payments, receipts, actions, etc. An accounting with hard numbers was sent after one year and after repeated requests with no back-up. She has ignored all requests. I believe she allowed the real property in the... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Jan 23, 2019

You usually have to start with a request as you have done so and the law typically gives them 60 days to respond. If you still aren't provided with the proper information by then your only recourse is to file a trust petition with the court. This is not a full lawsuit, but rather a petition asking... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My wife recently passed away intestate . One separate property, home valued at 1.2 M Assume I will inherit ?

We had no children . She has two siblings . Also one brokerage account about 800K is her separate property.

All other assets either community property or joint tenancy.

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Jan 14, 2019

If the property truly is separate property you should still have some kind of interest in it assuming there was no estate planning done at all. Most likely her assets will have to be probated and your interest will get sorted out through that process. If all these things apply, then most likely you... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for California on
Q: If a suicide note states that everything is to be given to a specified non-relative, can it be contested?

Recently a friend of my husband and I attempted suicide and is currently in the hospital in the ICU in California. He left suicide notes with his instructions on where he wants his stuff to go. He specifically and verbally declared he doesn't want his parents to get anything. He has been estranged... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Jan 3, 2019

A suicide can serve as a holographic will depending on the context of the note itself. I have had 2 suicide notes that have been held up as valid wills. Unfortunately your husband's rights will most likely be limited as long as he is alive as his parents are still considered his heirs. It all... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Do I need to use probate in my situation ? in California.

My situation: Wife of 9.5 years passed away due to cancer. We bought property during our marriage, but chose to put the title only under her name, because of credit concern at the time of purchase. We were foolish to think one of us would die so early and did NOT make an official will. I have... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Dec 17, 2018

If title is only under her name but the property was bought during marriage using community property funds then you would most likely be able to file a spousal property petition to get the property transferred. It does not require the full probate procedure, but still some court interaction.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Arbitration / Mediation Law for California on
Q: My father passed a few years back and left no will behind. What kind of lawyer do I speak to about putting my siblings

own as owners. Not that his daughter from his 2nd marriage has been taken in payments from renting the house out. She sent a letter to my current address stating that my siblings agreed to give the house which was a false fact since we had no contact with her. What type of lawyer do I contact?

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Nov 29, 2018

You need a probate or trust administration attorney. If there was no will, then the law says who will get the house and it will have to go through the probate court process to be transferred. It depends on how he held title to the property as well and if someone else was on title with him.

4 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My late husband had a parcel of land in El Dorado County that we never bothered to put my name on. Must I probate it?
Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Nov 26, 2018

Most likely yes, but you can probably avoid a full probate. There are other options to a full probate that a spouse can file or other heirs depending on the value of the property.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I am in probate and am executor of my brother's estate. When I list non-cash items, do I include items that are not in

probate? I was made beneficiary of his 401K, and we were joint owners of a condo. Do I list these items anywhere?

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Oct 23, 2018

No, you only have to list assets that are going through probate. If you held the condo as joint tenants then you should have right of survivorship which means it doesn't have to go through probate. If you were tenants in common then his portion will have to go through probate.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Will I receive any formal notification if my minor children are beneficiaries of a Trust? I received only word of this.

My mother-in-law sent a note that my minor children are named as beneficiaries of her late father's Trust, and are to receive a cash gift when they are 25. She is refusing to send a copy of said Trust, saying "due to the management of and regarding the investment portfolios involved, and the... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Oct 16, 2018

In California, all beneficiaries have a right to a copy of a trust once it becomes irrevocable. She cannot deny a copy of the trust. It is a bit complicated since your children are minors, but if taken to court there is no judge who would not require a copy of the trust to be provided.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Executor sold house and entire furnishings. Right now there is only a bank account. Nothing has been presented to heirs

There is last will and testament. Executor has been procrastinating now for 9 months. Executor has decided not to probate. Can the 3 other heirs demand a complete inventory of all incomes and expenditures from the estate without going to probate. Or is probate needed to get this info. Thankyou

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Oct 15, 2018

If there was only a will and no trust and there was real property involved then most likely the executor would have to get appointed by the court before they would have the proper authority to sell the property. If there was a trust then there might not be a required court process. In any event,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Can an alleged verbal agreement override the terms of a written trust in California?

In California, if there is a written trust that specifies distributions to the beneficiaries, after the grantor's death can the successor trustee alter the amounts based upon an alleged verbal dictate made by the grantor before death? There are no provisions in the trust that allow this.

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Sep 18, 2018

The trustee must act according to the terms of the trust. Absent anything in writing, the trustee cannot honor what was verbally stated before grantors life.

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: my friend who i lived with for 14 years died he left his house to me in a will and a transfer on death deed. Now his

family says its theirs. what do i do

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Sep 16, 2018

You can submit the will to probate and the family would have to fight it.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Before final distribution is made can I as a benificiary request an audit/Accounting of the trust?

If so, what exactly can I request?

Payments made, all account totals, total assets? If I feel it is not accurate or something is not adding up , what can I do? Thank you in advance.

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Sep 15, 2018

Yes. If you are a beneficiary of an irrevocable trust you have the right to a full accounting which should show you the starting value of all assets, all transactions that occurred during administration, and the ending balance left to distribute.

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