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Questions Answered by Howard E. Kane
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My mom died Dec 21,2022. She has a Will. How do I file Will with the court? I hope I won't b penalized for being late
Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 29, 2023

I'm sorry to hear about your mom passing. Wills must be hand-delivered to the Clerk of the Court, probate division, where your mom passed. Make sure to keep a good hard copy for yourself as well as a good digital copy so that you can share the will with beneficiaries or financial institutions.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I am the next of kin on my mothers life insurance policy. Can I use the money from policy to pay probate attorney fees?
Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 29, 2023

Yes. In this case, the life insurance policy is a non-probate asset. You can use a non-probate asset to pay probate attorney fees and other costs of probate administration.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My father lives in California, n owns 4 acres in Antwerp, New York, He wants to Will it to me. Should he? Or a diff way?

Basically my father wants to leave the property he has in New York State to me in a Will, 4 acres, 2 to me and 2 acres to his stepson and Step Daughter. What I would like to know if it is best to Will it to us or if there is another way we should be handling it before he passes on? I and him live... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 29, 2023

Greetings Chico. I agree with the other attorneys' answers, however, I wanted to add that your father can execute and record a new deed adding you as a joint tenant with the right of survivorship. If you survive your father, then you will become the sole owner after recording a Affidavit of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I am unemployed no money to hire probate lawyer is thier a pro bono attorney in Sacramento.

Mother is decedent. Has a Will. I am only living child and next of kin. She was a widow

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 28, 2023

Probate attorneys do not get paid until the judge authorizes payment to both the attorney and the executor/administrator. Yes, I can assist. Call me to discuss.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I am need of a protocol attorney ASAP file probate help me through the whole probate process

Pro Bono Attorney mom passed away has a will. I am only living child and in will as executor #2 the #1 passed away before my mom. Need help file petition probate

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 28, 2023

I'm sorry to hear about your mom passing. Please call me so that we can discuss how I can best assist you through the process.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I need to file petition for probate I need pro bono attorney. Can anyone help me please

Mom has Will. Has home w a mortgage, appraised 350,000. I am in Will as executor and I am the only living child. Mom was a widow.

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 28, 2023

Attorneys cannot be paid for representing executors or administrators in probate court absent a court order. Typically the property gets sold to pay all probate-related fees and fees of the estate. With that said, call me if you would like to discuss how I can best represent you through the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My brother in law and husband inherited their mothers home.

They are not selling it at present. They both own it as joint tenancy. So basically if one dies the other automatically owns it. But my husband wants his half to go to our kids. Would a living trust simply stating his wants be enough to over ride the joint tenancy? And would he need to make the... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 27, 2023

As a first step, I recommend severing the joint tenancy by filing a tenancy in common (TIC) deed. The next step is to create a living trust and then fund the trust with the property by way of a trust transfer deed. This will insure a smooth transfer of the property without probate to your kids... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My father passed away a week ago and I have a will in hand dated 1990. Is it valid? When should I file it?

In the 1990 will my mother and I are beneficiaries. They divorced in 1991 and he remarried in 1998. Does this make the entire will invalid or just his ex-wife's portion? Do I have to wait 40 days to file the will?

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 26, 2023

Assuming the 1990 Will was properly drafted, executed, and witnessed, is valid unless another Will superseded the 1990 Will. I would have a probate attorney review the 1990 Will and the divorce decree to see if there is any conflict. I would also check with the new spouse to see if she has an... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I lived with my boyfriend for 7 years. He died in a work accident. He had no will or beneficiary listed on any assets or

Insurance policies. He always said I would be taken care of if he died. No where am I listed as a beneficiary to his investment accounts, house, bank accounts, etc. He leaves behind 2 sisters he had no contact with for over 20 years. Do I have any standing to sue his estate? Numerous friends and... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 26, 2023

I'm sorry about your loss and the lack of an estate plan. I too must be the bearer of bad news. I have personal experience representing estranged siblings in probate court who end up inheriting even though their deceased sibling "promised" to take care of non-family members who end... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Yes, my father passed away without a will. My mother is asking me to sign a bond waiver. Before my dad passed away.

My grandparents left a cabin to him. In the living trust, they left a portion to all four of us boys, so why would she have a side of a bondwaiver before it goes to the probate.

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 24, 2023

I'm sorry to hear about your dad passing. According to the probate code, as the surviving spouse, your mom has priority to act as the administrator of your father's probate estate. The court can waive the bond requirement if all beneficiaries sign a bond waiver. If all beneficiaries do... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: Quick claim deed left to mom by her father and both have passed.but her brother lived in house until his death he paid

The taxes but never changed the deed dose he and his children now own the house.and if not what do her children do now

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 21, 2023

In order to claim property through adverse possession, there must be uninterrupted and continuous possession of the property for at least five years. Once the adverse possessor invades the property, the clock begins ticking on the five-year requirement. If the true owner resumes possession,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Is 21110 anti lapse effective if a named beneficiary dies during Probate.

4 named sibs on Will. During Probate, 1 of the named sibs died. Does their share go to their children?

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 17, 2023

Yes. Probate Code section 21110 requires the issue (in this case children) of the deceased transferee to take in the deceased transferee’s place unless the will specifies otherwise.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Have a court date tomorrow on probate with wondering if I could file a continuance and talk to a lawyer
Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Nov 22, 2022

Yes, you can certainly request a continuance at the time of the hearing or beforehand. Oftentimes you can call the court clerk beforehand and request a continuance. Worst-case scenario, you can request the continuance at the hearing. I also recommend checking the probate examiner's notes on... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Civil Litigation and Probate for California on
Q: If a trust lists a bank account, but the account is not titled as a trust account, can the bank give it to the trust?

The account was over the limit for small estates. Titled as single owner no POD. NO Heggstad petition. Does this account remain the property of the estate or can a bank legally give the money to the trust without court approval.?

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Nov 17, 2022

The bank will not turn over the funds to the Trust absent a court order. Through a Heggstad petition, you can ask the court to fund the bank account into the trust. Since the trust lists this account, a Heggstad should be granted. Unfortunately, in Alameda County, it takes around 9 months to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: In California, can one owner of a house charge their co-owner rent? More information below.

Let's say two people co-own a house in Santa Ana, CA, but only one of them is living in the house. Can the one living *outside* the house charge rent to the one living inside? (My mother and aunt are co-landladies of a house. My mom wants to move into that house, but her sister would charge... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Nov 2, 2022

This is a really good question that comes up regularly in co-ownership situations. The co-owners should sit down with an attorney or mediator and come up with a co-ownership agreement. Legally, both co-owners are entitled to possession, responsible for the bills and costs associated with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: We want to ask a friend to be our executor in case we both die at the same time. I would like to have him compensated,

plus make sure any expenses (like hiring a lawyer) are repaid him. How do we approach this pls? We're in California, and shouldn't have to go thru probate (under $165K x 2). Thanks

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Oct 31, 2022

Greetings Eureka,

It sounds like it is time for you to draft a simple estate plan which spells out compensation to the executor. I can help you with this. Call or email me to set up a consultation.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: In California where does the money go when an executor is appointed and needs to distribute funds and pay creditors..

The current executor disappeared we're in the process of me trying to get appointed as new executor and I need to find out how much or what has happened in what has happened in the account or where the funds are at funds are at for my father's estate

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Oct 31, 2022

The current executor should have opened up a bank account and funded the account with cash from the estate. You should ask around to find out who may know where the account is. In addition, the executor is required to provide an accounting to the probate court and beneficiaries before they are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Can a credit card company come after the estate [what little there is in it]?

I am a California resident. My husband died a few months ago. There is nothing in his estate except for 2 cars that are both over 15 years old. I do not know the cars' market value, but they are not in very good shape. The only other thing I have is the life insurance money.

I've... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Oct 31, 2022

I'm very sorry to hear that your husband passed. I hope that you are doing ok. The life insurance proceeds are not part of your husband's estate. Also, I highly doubt that the credit card company will come after used cars, especially if they are in particularly poor condition.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for California on
Q: If revocable trust holds ee bonds to be cashed, given to beneficiaries upon death of trustee will the interest income

on the ee bonds be shown as the trusts income and therefore the trust pays the taxes or will the interest income have to be shown as income on the beneficiaries taxes, and therefore be the beneficiaries responsibility to pay those taxes personally?

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Oct 31, 2022

This is a great tax question. I recommend that you ask your CPA or tax advisor how this is handled. Tax questions are typically outside the lane of probate attorneys. However, I suspect that the proceeds will be considered non-taxable inheritance. The 2022 estate tax exemption amount is $12.92... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: A friend has willed 2 properties to us. We are not related and live in California, will we be subjec to 21380 probate co
Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Oct 31, 2022

In certain circumstances, a donative transfer is presumed to be the product of fraud or undue influence. This includes when the transfer is to a person who drafted the Will, a caretaker, etc. I recommend reviewing Probate Code section 21380 to see if any of the relationships or connections... Read more »

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