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Questions Answered by Genene N. Dunn
2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Dad lives in California. Last 4 months was in hospice. He spent last 5days of life in North Carolina. Where probate?

My dad lives in California most of his life. He got stage 4 prostate cancer and ended up in a hospice. He then spent the last 5 days of his life in North Carolina at his brother and sister-in-law's house. His sister-in-law had power of attorney and his co executor of the will is a family... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Apr 19, 2022

good question. probate should be administered where the decedent was a resident at the time of death. With your facts, I would presume that California would be the appropriate state for probate as him being in North Carolina the last 5 days of his life would establish his residency in North... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My brother passed away without a will single never married no children both parents deceased leaving 2 siblings

He had a pension but never received it are my brother &I entitled to any of it if so how do I inquire about it

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Jan 18, 2022

It seems like you would be the heirs according to intestacy laws. You can inquire with the company who holds the Pension. If there was a death benefit it might have beneficiaries on it. If there are no beneficiaries, then the estate would be entitled to any death benefit and it depends on the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I am in the will, my Grandfather passed and left me $ to split with the grandchildren. My mon insists there is no will?

I need to get going because my grandpa said I need to get a lawyer after he passes, to help with this. He passed in Late March and I still don’t know what to do? He said the trust will pay my lawyer after everything is done, but I can’t find anyone to help me. My Uncle and mom say there is... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Aug 19, 2021

Hello Sasha. You mention and will and a trust. Do you have a copy of any documents from your grandfather or know the attorney that he might have used? You will have a very hard time without copies of anything. You can also check title to any property he owned to see if it was recorded into a trust.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My father died without a will and did not add beneficiaries to his bank account and 7 vacant lands that he owned.

He owns those 7 vacant lands ( all in California) with his siblings and was 50% owner of each. These lands’ values vary from $20k to $500k. I know these lands will have to go to probate , however, can my mother file a small estate affidavit for his bank account ( only has about $30k)?

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Mar 31, 2021

The small estate affidavit involves ALL assets outside of trust or that would otherwise be subject to probate. So if there are other assets that would be subject to probate that make the total value above $166,250.00, then a small estate affidavit would not work

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: What to do when Dad dies with no will in California. Homes listed as separate property.

My father left no will. One home was in a trust from my grandparents. His re married wife sold that home and got all the money. The two other homes are listed in my dads name and separate property. Do I need to hire an attorney to make sure I get my fair share in his estate? What do I need to do to... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Jan 22, 2021

Yes, you most likely need to hire an attorney and get a petition filed in probate court. You should start by either checking title on the properties or having the attorney check title to ensure the properties are held in his name alone as his separate property.

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I am trying to find a Probate attorney. Unfortunately my boyfriend left a holographic will that names me as executor.

Because he listed so many beneficiaries I am running into a problem finding someone who will take it. What happens then?

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Dec 23, 2020

Typically the amount of beneficiaries listed is not an issue. It depends on the size of the estate and if there is enough assets to fulfill the amount of potential gifts listed in the will as well as your ability to properly contact all the beneficiaries listed as they will all have to be notified... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I sold my dad's house he left me and all the paperwork been done can I go to court early an ask the judge for the money
Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Nov 19, 2020

If the estate has cash, it is possible under the probate code to file an ex parte petition to do a preliminary distribution of up to 50% of the estate. But eventually you will have to do your accounting and petition for final distribution to be able to distribute everything.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Grandmother passed in Calif, she had two sons. One (my father) passed away years ago. Does that make me an heir?
Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Nov 4, 2020

Yes, if your grandmother did not have a will you and any siblings you might have will take your father's share.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Im a beneficiary of a trust, and never received a copy. How do I find out who the trustee is, and how to contact.

Here's what I was told:

-All my grandmother's assets are to be split between me and my brother.

- funds are not to be available until we reach 25 or start college. (Not sure if it means I get mine at 25, or we both get it when he-the younger sibling. Turns 25)

-Her... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Oct 4, 2020

Unfortunately trusts are usually private and usually no public record of their content exists. There are some requirements of the trustee that require notice to be sent to all beneficiaries and heirs and if you are named in the trust you do have a right to a copy of it. I would be curious to know... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Brother lived/died in Ca. Had bank accts in Ca<$166k & NJ about $90K +small IRA. Is small estate w/o admin only needed?

I am only sibling, he was never married/no children. Our parents died. No will. Will I qualify for Small Estate in Ca? Will NJ honor determination? Or will I need administration? Get it here or there? Do I have to travel to NJ?

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Sep 21, 2020

I agree with Mr. Palley. The value should be calculated by all accounts your brother owned, not just ones in California. However, the small estate affidavit is a CA law and you might be hard pressed to get a bank in NJ to follow that law. There may be a different process for assets in NJ.

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: in CA, do i still have to do probate if all my grandma owned was her home? im on the deed already
Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Sep 18, 2020

It depends exactly how you are on the deed. If you are named as joint tenants then most likely you will not need to go through probate. If it says anything besides joint tenants then you might need probate.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Can you file a Heggstad Petition without being in probate or filing Petition for Probate with court?
Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Sep 3, 2020

Yes, a Heggstad Petition is a trust petition and does not require an estate to be opened to file. The trustee typically files the petition and has standing as the trustee to file in the county where the trust is being administered

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: In CA, husband’s will listed alternate heirs if the spouse does not survive him. She did. Must I list these alternates

in my petition to probate even though they do not inherit anything because spouse is still surviving?

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Aug 27, 2020

Yes, notice still needs to be sent to all persons named in a will.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My mother added my brother as owner of her property. Does it go to him at her death?

My mother passed. Recently she added my brother as joint owner of her property as I confirmed with the county assessor. I am not sure if they contacted the mortgage lender to add him on the loan as he is unemployed and I doubt would qualify. If there is no will or trust does the entire property go... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Aug 25, 2020

If title is held as joint tenants then he gets the entire property. The loan doesn't matter for who inherits, it is title that rules. If title does not specify that they hold the property as joint tenants then it most likely will be 50/50 and you would share in your mother's half.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Gma died my father passed away before her and my dad was only son and I am only child. Can I get my dads portion?

I have 4 aunts which got a large portion and I got 10,000 out of hundreds of thousands

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Jul 30, 2020

The biggest question is did your grandmother have a will or trust? If so, the answer lies there. Also, if you dad was the only child of this grandmother who are the aunts? If there are aunts then I would assume they are also children of the grandmother and they would have a right to the estate as... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Grandpa passed away 14 days ago, he was a widow. Uncle now says everything is his & demands access to our house. Can he?

My mother also passed away approx 8 years ago. We've been living with grandfather for last 5 years. He's only be gone for 14 days, we haven't even had the funeral. Uncle keeps just showing up whenever he wants to our house. I woke up to him asleep in his car in our driveway yesterday morning.

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Jul 29, 2020

It depends on if there was a will or trust for your grandfather that gave everything to your uncle or if your uncle was on title. If any of those are true then it is possible that it will eventually be all his, but if you have lived there for 5 years you have rights as a tenant, even if you do not... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My brother lives with my elderly mother. She would like a letter stating he has to vacate the house in a certain time.

This would be after her passing.

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Jul 14, 2020

I typically put a provision like this in the person's trust. Your mom should get a trust done and add this provision to her trust and make sure the property is owned in the trust.

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: my aunt put me on the deed to her house she passed away and didnt have a will do i need to go throuqh probate
Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Jul 13, 2020

It depends how you are on the deed. If it names you both as joint tenants then no probate should be necessary. If there is no survivorship clause of some kind on the deed, then you possibly will have to put her part through probate.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: There are two executors for my family's estate, one of them is dragging the situation.

Executor 1 is billing the estate whenever she is taking flights and purchasing other things. The whole family can not see how much she is charging the estate. The attorney for the estate is really only working with her and not to the wishes of our relative who has passed. Executor 2 is being kept... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Jul 1, 2020

The beneficiaries are absolutely entitled to an accounting. If the executor is not giving information on funds you can demand an accounting and if one is not presented or if the trustee is causing the administration to stall then a beneficiary or cotrustee can petition the court to remove the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Hello my brother just past away. It was just me and him as children of our parents

Hello my brother just passed away we were the only 2 children. My parents passed away with no will before my brother passed away we had an attorney start a probate to divide my parents been property between us 2 but my brother passed before it was completed still in process. Now do I divide it with... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Jun 29, 2020

You will have to petition to take over your parents' estate. Then their estate will distribute your brother's share to his estate since he survived his parents. The there would have to be a probate for your brother's estate that would go to his children assuming he was not married.

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