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California Estate Planning Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on

Q: Can a revocable trust be changed three times?

My husband and I are trustees of a revocable trust. The owner of the trust has changed it three times, has had one trustee in 2003, had a falling out with that one, got another one in 2010 had a falling out with that one and now has my husband and I since 2017. Each time she gets a new trust at a... Read more »

James Edward Berge answered on Aug 22, 2019

If she makes a change to a trust and expects it to have a binding effect on the trustee, she must inform the trustee of the change and the trustee needs to sign off on the change.

If she makes a change to a trust which changes the trustee, no notice is required to make the change, but once...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate, Business Law and Estate Planning for California on

Q: my 50 50 partner in a c corp passed away in may with no will. her stock shares are going to probate.

in probate, will they simply give away her shares of stock? or will they also valuate the company and demand a payment be made to the new shareholder? he is not a director, manager or majority shareholder in the company.

Bill Sweeney answered on Aug 20, 2019

If valued over $150,000, the share ownership will likely be probated and the shares will likely be distributed to the intestate heirs. You should retain competent counsel to review your situation, including any agreements between the shareholders regarding death of a shareholder.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on

Q: In CA do I need to quitclaim a condo to the estate and then quitclaim from the estate to a person? How doI sign 1st one?

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 20, 2019

Your probate attorney should be helping you with this one. If you do not have a probate attorney, then you probably need one. These are not do-it-yourself projects.

To answer your first question, no, the executor does not have to change title of real property from the name of a decedent...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for California on

Q: The home ive lived in for 40 yrs. is in short sale. what rights do i have if i still live there?

my dad died and my sister was named executer to his estate . We found he was behind on his mortgage and the house was going into foreclosure. my sister got a probate lawyer and hot the house approved for short sale. An auction date has been pushed back to september . i got served with a 60 eviction... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 19, 2019

It sounds like you were renting month to month and the new owner of the house, your dad's estate, has served you will a 60-day notice to quit in order to prepare the house for sale. You must move within that 60 day period. If you do not move, they can get a local sheriff to bodily drag you out... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for California on

Q: Can you add someone to the deed to your house but Will that your home be sold/profits split Among people not on the deed

My grandmother recently added my aunt and her husband to the deed of her home and the was told she could require they sell the home and split the money between us 5 grandkids. Is this true in California. Doesn’t a deed supersede a will? And if my aunt is a beneficiary on all her other accounts... Read more »

James Edward Berge answered on Aug 18, 2019

There is a presumption affecting the burden of proof that title to property is what it is, and that challengers that seek to prove otherwise must produce clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. It’s certainly possible that grandma conveyed title with an understanding that the property... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on

Q: There’s 3 of us girls, supposedly my mom left no will, not believable! But she trick me into believing her at the begin

Beginning by signing a no bond that clearly isn’t wat she told me it was!& that the attorney was for us 3, I’ve not been able to step foot in my parents home,& she had a garage sale w/ out my knowledge that led to a fight n the police were called I’ve got the report is was NOT my fault! Now... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 16, 2019

Hire a probate attorney to help you ensure that your mother’s estate is being handled correctly.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on

Q: my Sister got revoked for not being mental able to work as a nurse do to pills, she’s now administrator of moms estate!

I believe the law firm doesn’t know this that’s her attorney nor the courts, wud she be able to do if they knew?

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 16, 2019

If you think your sister is not qualified to be the executor of your mom's estate, you should hire your own attorney to oppose her appointment or, if she has already been appointed, to have her removed.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on

Q: My parents passed away and the trust splits 50/50 with me and sister. They have moved in to my parents home.

They will not pay me for my half of the house. What are my options?

Sanjoy Kumar Guha answered on Aug 14, 2019

If you and your sibling can't reach an agreement, you'll probably have to involve the court. You can file a lawsuit for partition, asking a judge to order the sale of the home so you can terminate your co-ownership.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate, Small Claims and Real Estate Law for California on

Q: Probate hasnt started can a non teanat place locks on rooms? Will a quite title action make an unsigned deed valid?

My grandmother passed and left the deed, leaving the home to her son and nephew, unsigned. Since then her son has collected 12,000 from the teanats and has only payed 6000 toward the mortgage. Is this considered rent skimming or embezzlement? After one teant moved out he placed a lock on the room... Read more »

James Edward Berge answered on Aug 14, 2019

An unsigned deed does not convey legal title to property and does not qualify as a Will. A probate will be required to convey title from grandmother to her heirs at law, typically her children and quite possibly her son. Since her son does not have title to the property, he cannot evict a tenant... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on

Q: mY PARENTS HAVE A LIVING TRUST I AM ONE OF 3 CHILDREN WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO SEE THE TRUST ? DO THE CHILDREN

MY DAD PASSED OVER 5 YRS AGO AND MY MOM WILL BE SOON

James Edward Berge answered on Aug 13, 2019

As long as your parents’ trust is revocable, no one has the right to see their trust, not even their children. The only time that you have a right to see their trust is when that trust or a portion of that trust becomes irrevocable due to the death of a trustor, or you are entitled to... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant, Probate and Estate Planning for California on

Q: Uncle is evicting me from my fathers house , I am disabled and served unlawful detainer

Ive lived in fathers house for 9 years with his assistance. He passed, but he was cohersed by my uncle into doing his trust over, since I was suppose to have passed by now. My fathers wishes were for me to take everything he has, but wanted my uncle to get 100k and handguns. Now Ive been served a... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 12, 2019

You have a very difficult situation and you should not delay finding an attorney. You might need more than one.

You need a trust litigator to to review your dad's trust and to help you challenge it, if you think that the amendment was obtained under duress or undue influence.

You...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on

Q: My father died with out a will in CA> The house was in my brothers name. Do the other siblings have any control

Father stated before his death that he wanted his youngest daughter to live in his house because the other siblings were out of the state and already well established, Home owners , with good jobs. Literally on his death bed he told everyone that he wanted his youngest daughter to live in his... Read more »

D. Mathew Blackburn answered on Aug 11, 2019

Estate planning is important. The documents control the disposition of the property unless there are specific circumstances that require a different treatment. You should consult a California Probate attorney to see if any of the exemptions apply.

Best of luck.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on

Q: How long does it normally take to draft (Setup) a First Party Special Needs Trust (FP SNT)? Can I get my money back?

I retained the legal services of a California probate/estate planning/trust attorney to draft 2 FP SNT for my siblings.

Four months and one week have past, and I have received a first draft on one sibling (to review, edit or approve), and no first draft or final draft on sibling number 2.

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 6, 2019

That is a long time for a first draft but sometimes it takes that long because that is how long it took the attorney to get necessary information from the client. It is also possible that the SNT for the other sibling will be substantially the same as the SNT for the first so it is more efficient... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on

Q: Will any money in my trust account be paid back to creditors by the bank before being passed on to my beneficiaries?

James Edward Berge answered on Aug 3, 2019

Yes. Creditors get paid before beneficiaries. To avoid creditor claims, consider making your trust a joint tenancy or pay on death account.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning and Probate for California on

Q: Im frustrated with this probate. I have no choice but to try sooo can someone explain probate code 850 and 859 pls....

I can't afford to pay another retainer fee. I paid $8500 to a lawyer for him to file an 850 petition to quiet title. Time went by and turns out he never filed it but said he did....ahh! deceptive and misleading probate lawyer :( Now I am attempting to do this on my own and with lots of help from... Read more »

Dale S. Gribow answered on Jul 31, 2019

more info needed and you need probate lawyer but this is a criminal law forum

if you retained him and he did not do his job ask for a refund and contact the state bar

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on

Q: House doesn't legally belong to decendant.My former Attny said I could NOT oppose or object to the probate & now I'm Adm

Probate was started by "next of kin". House is the only thing in estate but decendant is not legal owner. There's title fraud change here. When I found out all this I got attorney to help me. I wanted to let court know this is wrong and I'm against this probate. My attorney told me yes he can help... Read more »

Richard Samuel Price answered on Jul 24, 2019

This is beyond what you can do on your own. You need to hire an attorney to help you. Call a local probate attorney to assist you, or contact your local bar association for a referral to a probate attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for California on

Q: Can anyone reference CAcase in which probate cd850 was used to excluded real property frm estate...title illegal change

Heir did an illegal title change on a house and after mother passed (No Will) heir open probate case and claiming house which did not belong to mother. House really belongs to someone else. This is the only thing in probate. Need to get this house out of this estate. And what to do for Inventory... Read more »

Richard Samuel Price answered on Jul 23, 2019

Probate Code section 850 allows for a personal representative or any interested person to file a petition requesting the court make an order where the decedent died holding title to real estate and the property is claimed to belong to someone else. (Probate Code section 850(a)(2)(C).)

You...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Federal Crimes and Probate for California on

Q: How to make Caretaker explain infront of Probate Judge why she took bankDocs,purse,jewelry,safeDeposit key,car,etc.

Caretaker admits to taking all this stuff but has not returned it. Now she wont speak to me at all. Said she placed furniture and other belongings in Uhaul Storage but didnt give me the key or address. Told me she took this because she had power of attorney which i never seen. She also wrote checks... Read more »

Dale S. Gribow answered on Jul 22, 2019

more info needed.

you should have a probate attorney who can guide you.

if she can't produce documents allowing her to do that I would call the police on her...but they will probably say it is Civil matter

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on

Q: For a Will in the state of California do I have the option of 2 Witnesses or 1 Notary Public?

I prefer 2 Witnesses and a Notary but we are having a problem getting the 2 Witnesses.

James Edward Berge answered on Jul 22, 2019

No. Wills cannot be notarized in California. You have two choices: either two witnesses sign your Will in your presence at the same time that you sign it (a formal Will), or your Will is entirely in your handwriting (no witnesses; holographic).

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on

Q: what is ment by a "Bixby Trust"?

Jay Braddock Jackson answered on Jul 19, 2019

A “Bixby Trust” is a type of spendthrift trust instrument. It is written as irrevocable but is not intended to create remainder interests in the Trustor’s heirs at law. In words, the Trustor is the sole beneficiary. For that reason, the Trust is subject to termination by the Trustor. In these... Read more »

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