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California Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: removing a trustee

In los angeles county how long and how much is a typical cost, if one exists, to remove and surcharge a trustee assuming they don't try to fight it? Is there a schedule of charges for court fees posted somewhere?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 24, 2024

In Los Angeles County, the process of removing and surcharging a trustee can vary in terms of time and cost, depending on the specific circumstances of the case.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for California on
Q: What is the Dead Man's Statute?

My father passed away, his wife refused to give his children his estate documents. I filed a petition with the court and her response stated - "I am aware that; I and my husband, prepared a Revocable Living Trust on or about July 11, 2023. Shortly after creating the Trust, my husband,... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 17, 2024

In California, the Dead Man's Statute, also known as the Evidence Code Section 1261, limits the admissibility of statements made by a deceased person in certain legal proceedings. The statute is designed to protect the estate of a deceased person from fraudulent claims.

Under the Dead...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I need help drafting and filing an objection to a Petition for Probate Letters of Administration.

There is a valid Will on file with the county and there are no assets to probate.

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answered on Apr 15, 2024

To object to a Petition for Probate Letters of Administration in California when there is a valid will and no assets to probate, you should follow these steps:

1. Draft an objection: Write a document titled "Objection to Petition for Probate Letters of Administration." In this...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Banking and Probate for California on
Q: Completing a small business affidavit. What are the chances of it working?

Deceased died in 2021. At death his business bank account had 180,000. No other property. A few weeks prior, he told girl friend to pay debts to 2 people totaling 46,000. One is a court order of $36,000, the other is a loan repayment. She didn't do it before he died. His children want to... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 15, 2024

Based on the information provided, it seems the deceased's estate might qualify for the small estate affidavit procedure in California, as the total value of the estate appears to be under the $184,500 limit (as of 2023). However, there are a few potential issues to consider:

1....
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: How do I recover surplus assets from sale of property in Lodi California. I'm in Reno Nevada and have no income

My father passed away October 26, 2022. He didn't have a will the house located at 1208 South sunset drive in Lodi California was auctioned off to pay back taxes and reverse mortgage and I have no money to afford attorney fees and reside in Reno NV. My sister has had an attorney for a while... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 12, 2024

I'm sorry for your loss and the difficult situation you're in. Here are some steps you can take to try to recover your share of the surplus assets from the sale of the property in Lodi, California:

1. Contact the county where the property was sold (San Joaquin County) and request...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for California on
Q: Motion for Default Judgment - should it be dismissed or move forward?

I am acting pro se, the defendant was served by a process server on Jan 26, they filed their reply via counsel on Feb. 29, making it late. I filed a Motion for Default Judgment, which will be heard on April 15. The lawyer sent me an email with the following - My client filed a Response on February... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 12, 2024

Based on the information provided, it seems that the defendant's attorney has a valid point. Here's why:

1. Late filing: Although the defendant's response was filed late (on February 29, 2024, instead of the due date), the court has accepted and filed the response. This...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: What do I need to file to get house in the names of the 5 heirs? Dad died 2000 mom died 2013. house in both names.

My father passed away in Sept 2000. Him and my mother owned the house as Joint Tenants. My mother did not go to the Registrar Recorder to have the house put in her name only. She passed away in Nov 2013. I am now probating her estate, which only includes the house. What do I need to file to get... View More

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answered on Apr 11, 2024

To transfer the house to the names of the 5 heirs in California, given the circumstances you described, you'll need to follow these steps:

1. File an Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant: This document is used to remove your father's name from the title, as he passed away first....
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: In the state of California, what is the deadline for an executor of the estate to file probate with a will?

The executor of the estate has the will and told some beneficiaries but not all. The is a personal representative mentioned in the will.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 9, 2024

In California, the deadline for an executor or personal representative named in a will to file for probate depends on the date they were made aware of the death. According to California Probate Code Section 8200:

1. If the executor or personal representative named in the will was aware of...
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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My sister is my mom's POA but refuses to help me care for my mom.

She's taken her phone, iPad and other devices. I cook my mom food, feed her, give her her medicine, change her, take her to the bathroom, take her to all her appointments. And I use my mom's car(which she gave me me) to take her to her many appointments. And prior to my sister taking all... View More

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Apr 8, 2024

This is a terrible situation, and it saddens me whenever I hear of circumstances like this. You can and should report your sister's behavior to Adult Protective Services. You might also think about filing a police report for theft with respect to any funds or things your sister has stolen... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My sister and I are co-trustees inheriting our mother’s home 50/50. My sister moved into the home without permission.

She won’t reply to any emails or messages. I want to enter the property with my key and look at assets and paperwork. Can I enter the house legally. Can the police make me leave?

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answered on Apr 6, 2024

Your question cannot be answered in full for lack of complete information. My guess is that you might still be in the administrative stage of post-death trust administration. As co-trustees, each of you owes a duty to estate, creditors and beneficiaries to manage the trust assets for their benefit,... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Can I open a probate case because the medical records never went to court ‘ prove the truster was incapacitaded

The beneficiare have power of attorney went the truster was in the hospital stroke 14 months before the living trust was made

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 8, 2024

In California, if you believe that a living trust was created when the trustor (the person who created the trust) was incapacitated and there is evidence to support this claim, such as medical records, you may have grounds to challenge the validity of the trust. However, opening a probate case may... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I was left money in a probate Will, how long should it take to receive these funds?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 4, 2024

The time it takes to receive funds from a probate will can vary significantly depending on several factors. Here's a general overview of the probate process and timeline in California:

1. Opening Probate: After the death of the person who made the will (the decedent), the executor or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I am representing myself in a probate case in CA and contesting a will. How do I write a Motion requesting a trial date

I am stating in the Motion that “In the above will contest proceedings, the discovery deadlines have passed and I am prepared to move forward with this case in a trial setting.” Does this sound correct?

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answered on Apr 4, 2024

To request a trial date in a California probate case where you are contesting a will and representing yourself, you need to file a "Request/Counter-Request to Set Case for Trial - Probate" form (DE-150). Here's how you can proceed:

1. Fill out the DE-150 form, which you can...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Probate and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: The record when referring to litigation is everything that happened before judgement was entered or post trial too?
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answered on Apr 4, 2024

In California, the term "record" in the context of litigation generally refers to the official case file maintained by the court, which includes all the documents and evidence submitted to the court before the judgment is entered. This typically includes:

1. Pleadings (e.g.,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: What if successor waited 38 days, not 40 days since the death of the descendent. Is it still valid? Or can it be contest

Can it be contested by a beneficiary who was also an heir?

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answered on Apr 3, 2024

Under California law, the waiting period for a successor to file for probate after the death of the decedent is 30 days, not 40 days. So if the successor waited 38 days to file, they are still within the legal timeframe.

California Probate Code Section 8200 states:

"(a) Unless...
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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

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Does "all persons entitled to distribution" include only people mentioned in the will?

"The Personal Representative is required to file an accounting of the financial transactions that have occurred in the administration of the estate unless all persons entitled to distribution of the estate have signed a written waiver of account or a written acknowledgment that the person has... View More

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answered on Mar 26, 2024

In California law, "all persons entitled to distribution" typically refers to the beneficiaries who are named in the will or those who are legally entitled to inherit under intestate succession laws if there's no will or applicable provisions in the will. This usually does not... View More

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??

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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 Landlord - Tenant and Probate for California on
Q: How Can I Evict An Occupant Protected By Tenant's Rights as a Cash-Poor Estate?

My late father passed away intestate in Los Angeles County, and I (his son) have been named Administrator of the Estate by the court. He had his girlfriend-turned-caretaker staying with him before he passed.

Said caretaker has stolen what little money remained to my father by claiming there... View More

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answered on Mar 20, 2024

In California, if you're facing issues with an occupant in an estate property, the first step is to formally establish your legal standing as the estate's administrator. Since you've been named by the court, ensure all documentation clearly designates your authority over the... View More

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