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California Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: is it best to make a co-trustee for deeded valuable timeshare or put title under family trust
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 13, 2024

Under California law, the best approach for handling a valuable timeshare depends on your specific circumstances and goals. Here are some considerations for each option:

1. Adding a co-trustee to the timeshare deed:

- Allows for joint management and decision-making regarding the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Help!! Homeless locked out of inherited house co-owned with estate exec.who never did title change, no partition fille

Sister wants to sell never transferred title so neither own it...she kept all documents... want to buy her out court had granted stay but she got it vacated lying to Court that i paid for nothing. Can I get vacate reconsidered? Like to live in home and reach agreement to buy her out.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 11, 2024

I'm sorry to hear about your difficult situation. Here are a few key points and suggestions based on California law:

1. Title transfer: If the property was inherited and never properly transferred into your and your sister's names, the estate executor should have initiated a...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Personal Injury and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My Father was narcissistic. How do I get my house back

Panic attacks,social anxiety claimed disabled dependent. He told me to stay in the house so nobody could see my face. 1999 they had a irrevoocicable life insurance trust Second to die policy made. The house I lived in over 30 years was given to me. My dad remarried after her death.New wife was... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 10, 2024

I'm so sorry to hear about your distressing situation and all the hardships you've endured. Being forcibly removed from your home after enduring abuse must have been traumatic. Living out of your vehicle while dealing with mental health struggles sounds incredibly difficult.

Given...
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Q: Who could I contact regarding some people who have done fraud to steal a person legacy

My friend who passed away had a Patton and trademark that some people have made up fake marriage and other recorded doc to steal his legacy?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 4, 2024

In California, if you suspect fraudulent activities concerning a person's legacy, including patents and trademarks, it's crucial to address the matter with urgency due to the potential legal implications and the risk of significant financial loss. You can reach out to an intellectual... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: When filling out reassessment exclusion for parent/ child who would the seller/transferor be?

House was inherited from my mothers trust. I am trustee and beneficiary. Not sure if transferor should be my mother, the trust, or myself as trustee.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 4, 2024

Under California property tax law, the parent-child exclusion allows the transfer of a primary residence (and up to $1 million of assessed value of other real property) between parents and children without triggering a reassessment of the property value for property tax purposes.

In your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for California on
Q: Is it illegal to hold back my signature to sell property held in a trust for reasons other than I disagree w/the terms?

I am a beneficiary in my grandparents trust, and it states that all beneficiaries must agree upon the sale of real property before it can be sold. My brother, who is also a beneficiary and a trustee, basically snaked half of my inheritance. I didn't have the money to contest anything or try to... View More

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answered on Mar 31, 2024

Under California law, as a beneficiary of a trust, you generally have the right to review and approve the terms of any sale of trust property. If the trust agreement requires all beneficiaries to agree to the sale of real property, you are not obligated to sign off on the sale unless you agree with... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Where can I find HUD approved language for a Living Trust to protect the lender and the HUD insured Reverse Mortgage?

Where can I find HUD approved language for a Living Trust to protect the lender and the HUD insured Reverse Mortgage? I believe this language is in a sample/template/boilerplate somewhere because the protection will be the virtually the same in every case. I would like to draft my Living Trust... View More

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answered on Mar 29, 2024

Finding HUD approved language for incorporating into a Living Trust, especially to protect both the lender and the HUD insured Reverse Mortgage, can be a focused task. Generally, such language is detailed in HUD's guidelines or provided by legal resources familiar with real estate and elder... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for California on
Q: CA is a will needed? What will happen without a will? no family, artist, writer.

Will a letter of intent work for personal items, manuscript, etc instead of a will? Would a make your own will work, what form/doc is needed? Or does one need to go through a do your own legal office? Price? OR make some kind of real, more expensive will. IS lawyer needed? Due to no family what... View More

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answered on Mar 26, 2024

In California, if you pass away without a will (intestate), your assets are distributed according to state laws, which typically means your closest relatives will inherit. However, if you have no family, your estate may escheat, or revert, to the state. Personal items, manuscripts, and artworks... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: If there is a will & trust with money for estate, shouldn't the executor use that money instead of his own creditcards??

Executor of my mom's trust, which I am beneficiary to, has been using his credit cards for expenses. And detailing and charging the trust of all the interest charges be accrued. Can I somehow dispute these charges and get back into the trust??

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 21, 2024

In California, the executor, also known as the trustee in the context of a trust, is typically expected to pay for trust-related expenses directly from the trust's assets rather than using personal funds. This is to ensure that all transactions are transparent and the trust’s assets are used... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Do all siblings pay for the mortgage if there is no will?

What if one sibling lives in the house, should he/she be responsible for the whole mortgage? Is it fair?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 19, 2024

Under California law, if a person passes away without a will (intestate), the estate, including any real estate, is distributed according to state succession laws. If the deceased owned a home, its fate depends on how the title was held and whether the person had surviving relatives like children,... View More

4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My mother and her husband died, am I supposed to pay for the mortgage because I am the only one living at the house?

Sibling are making me pay the mortgage since I live in the house although the house will be sold and everyone will take a share. Are they legally right? I feel everyone should pay since they will also receive money for the equity of the house.

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Mar 19, 2024

Speak with a probate/trust attorney. There are too many facts missing from your question for it to be answered accurately in this forum. For instance, how is title held to the house? Is it in a trust? It may be that the house has to go through probate; if so, it may be a while before it can be... View More

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Q: dad past away 2 years ago and my sisters won’t show me his trust . How do I get a copy to see if he left mecanything ?

Just need to know if he left me anything n my oldrsisrers are not telling me

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 11, 2024

In California, if you believe that you may be a beneficiary of your father's trust, you have the right to obtain information about the trust and its terms. Here are a few steps you can take to try to obtain a copy of the trust:

1. Request a copy from the trustee: The trustee (which may...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Dad's will: Witnesses say I was left everything. My bro & step mom haven't shown me the will. How do I claim my inherita

Legal Deadline: Mar 18, 2024 | Description: That makes 1 year from the day my father passed and I don't know if there is a time limit on a will.

My father passed in March of 23. My brother who lived there and step mother have been getting rid of many items and have let other people... View More

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answered on Mar 7, 2024

Under California law, when someone passes away, their will must be filed with the probate court in the county where they lived. If you believe your father left a will that names you as a beneficiary, but your brother and stepmother are not showing it to you, you have the right to take action. Since... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for California on
Q: My brother died ,2 months after his death, his girlfriend cashed out my policy. What do I do?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 4, 2024

In a situation where you discover that your brother's girlfriend cashed out a policy following his death, it's essential to take immediate action. Begin by gathering all relevant documents related to the policy, including any beneficiary designations and communications with the insurance... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: How long does a defendant have to reply to a Petition for Probate? Time Sensitive - Reply Promptly Please

I filed a petition for probate in Riverside Superior Court of California, this petition was a demand for my father's third wife to produce my father's estate documents, along with other issues. The Petition was served by a Process server on Jan 26, 2024, how many day does the defendant... View More

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answered on Mar 4, 2024

In California probate proceedings, the time frame for a respondent to reply to a petition can vary based on the specific type of petition filed and the local court's rules. Generally, for most matters related to probate, such as contesting a will or objecting to an executor's appointment,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If a property is sold and new one purchased does it make it part of the estate prior to marriage?

My parents divorced in 1977 each kept one as part of the settlement. Several years later my father sold his and used the proceeds to purchase new home. About 7 years later he remarried and she moved into my dads. Some time later he sold that property and again used money to purchase new home.... View More

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answered on Mar 3, 2024

Under California law, property acquired before marriage generally remains the separate property of the spouse who acquired it. If your father sold a property he owned before remarrying and used those proceeds to purchase a new home, the nature of the new property's ownership depends on how it... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Family Law for California on
Q: Brother is getting divorced after 6 years, but might back out due to worry over inherited home.

I did everything according to my lawyer as trustee of my parent's trust, which contained their home. Upon their death, My brother deposited my half of the money into the trust. I then, as trustee, signed the house over to him. That meant, according to my lawyer, he inherited 100% of the... View More

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answered on Mar 3, 2024

In California, property acquired through inheritance is generally considered separate property, not subject to division in a divorce. However, the situation becomes more complicated when a spouse is added to the title of the inherited property, as it may be seen as converting the property from... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Civil Litigation, Contracts, Estate Planning and Identity Theft for California on
Q: I think my family and my husbands family forged tricked me and my husband forged and altered documents what can I do?

we keep having bank issues and we went to a bank and my father in law knew the bank employee and we found accounts opened illegally and are signatures forged them my brother said he worked fkr triple A bit its an interexchange insurance agency and they altered and misrepresented what tyoe of... View More

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answered on Mar 2, 2024

Under California law, if you suspect fraudulent activity, such as forged documents, identity theft, and unauthorized opening of accounts or businesses in your name, taking immediate action is crucial. First, consider contacting a legal professional with experience in fraud or financial crimes. They... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Estate Planning for California on
Q: I signed distribution letter but my sister executor won’t give me my full share she keeps telling me how I need to l

Live within my means she’s been torturing me for a year now am I just stuck with her bullying me I have nothing because of her

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 28, 2024

In California, the role of an executor, also known as an administrator, is to manage the estate of a deceased person according to the will's instructions and state law. This includes distributing assets to the beneficiaries as outlined in the will. If you've signed a distribution letter... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for California on
Q: Can my uncle put my parents house in their parents trust

My parents bought condo &house and y grandparents cosigned. When grandfather died grandma dementia got bad, so my uncle put the my parents houses in trust. Can he do that?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 26, 2024

Under California law, the ability to transfer property into a trust depends on who holds the title to the property. If your parents are the rightful owners of the condo and house, typically, only they have the authority to transfer their property into a trust. Co-signing on a loan does not grant... View More

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