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California Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: CA Prop 19: After parent-child transfer, if child uses home as principal res. for years, is it reassessed if he leaves?

I have a question about CA Prop 19 that I haven’t seen addressed anywhere yet, and was hoping someone from this Q&A forum might have an answer.

Prop 19 for the most part repeals Prop 58, which allowed parents to transfer a house to their children, without the house being reassessed... Read more »

Zaher Fallahi
Zaher Fallahi answered on Oct 25, 2020

Congratulation, you sound like a tax pro and seek speculation on I believe a proposed new law. That may be tough one. Good luck. Zaher Fallahi, Esq, CPA (CA &D.C.).

Disclaimer: No solicitation is intended by answering general questions in this forum. This is for information purposes,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: is there a time limit to get an inheritence?my parents died in 2016 milford NH
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Oct 24, 2020

Difficult to say but it should be less than 4 years, something seems amiss. You should contact the executor of the estate. If this is insurance proceeds, certainly a lot less than 4 years. You will need to contact a probate attorney in NH.

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3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for California on
Q: What are the steps on revoking a durable power of attorney from a spouse. The partner is no longer able to speak.

I'm the son of the partner who is unable to speak. Her spouse is not making choices in her best interests and our family believes he is using his power for his benefit. We believe he is using her money, credit cards, and has mentioned he is using our elderly grandmothers (now deceased) bank... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 24, 2020

If the power of attorney is NOT durable then it was automatically revoked when your mother became incapacitated. If it is durable and your mother is no longer able to revoke it, then you would have to go to court to get a guardian and conservator appointee. The conservator would then be able to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: I have been married for 30 years to my husband. I found a Will he rewrote about a year ago that has him giving our home

to his grown (4) KIDS, unless I can buy them out. Our home is in both our names on the title. Can he do that, if I don't agree?

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Oct 21, 2020

You really need to go to a Family law attorney in your local area with these documents and see what is going on and what your rights are. Under California law, as a community property state, the spouse should inherit, but it might be possible under certain circumstances for a spouse to will away... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: I just settled a estate case on contingency. We settled on the first day of trial in 3 hours. My lawyer is taking 40%.

He also negotiated on day of settlement for an additional $50k to offset fees? I thought he was getting this from Defendant only. He now states it’s coming off top of net proceeds!? Isn’t that double dipping for fees?

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Oct 19, 2020

You need to understand that the day you arrive for trial, the attorney has already done most of the very substantial work to prepare for that trial. You don't begin to prepare for trial on the first day, there are Court imposed requirements for submitting briefs, exhibit and witness lists and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: If asset value changes between DOD and date of distribution, does it affect what beneficiaries receive as a percentage?

A former spouse named several people as beneficiaries, to receive some percentage of the value of an investment account. The executor states that the amount to be received is the value on the date of death, but the account was not terminated. If the assets increased in net value, are the... Read more »

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Oct 19, 2020

No doubt, your answer lies in the interpretation of the language used in making the special gift, but without seeing it, I would opine that the relevant date is date of distribution rather than date of death.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for California on
Q: If I inherited my father's house after he passes, and I sell it, do I get hit with capital gains tax?

My father owns a house outright in California. I am the only child, and the house is in trust to be inherited down to me. My mother passed 2 years ago. If I in turn sell the house after my dad passes, do I get hit with capital gains tax?

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Oct 18, 2020

When your mother passed two years ago, the property received a "step-up" in basis to market value at that time. When your father dies, the property will get a second step-up in basis to the then market value. This assumes the property was community property and that the trust did not... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My sister was a solo practitioner and passed away without a succession plan. What to do with her practice now?

She was practicing family law and she has active pending cases now. Do we need an attorney to notify the court and her clients? Or can we notify the court and clients as her family member?

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Oct 16, 2020

Call the State Bar of California and see what they recommend. If you need to probate your sister’s estate, you can also petition the probate court to appoint a lawyer as a law practice administrator to complete your sister’s cases and perhaps find a buyer for her practice.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My mother and father had a trust. My mom died and 7 years later my dad remarried. His new wife and he drew up a trust.

He died about 10 years after and I was told (while he was alive) that in their trust he specified that I receive $350,000. I believe my two children are also named for $175,000 each. He has been gone about 2 years now and his wife will NOT talk about the trust. I do not have a copy of the trust... Read more »

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Oct 15, 2020

I see you are in Glendale, AZ, but am assuming your father had resided in California. I'm answering your question based on California law. You have an absolute right to see a copy of the trust, even if somehow you were disinherited from it. An attorney would send a demand letter and if she... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Estate Planning, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can a joint tenant/owner have a lien put on house (primary residence) if other owner passes away with credit card debt?

*California* atty. preferred:

My mother and grandmother live in Seal Beach Leisure World.

If they are both co-owners and residents (joint tenancy) of this property and one passes away (God forbid) with some credit card debt, can the creditor(s) put a lien on the property postmortem... Read more »

Aaron Michael Lloyd
Aaron Michael Lloyd answered on Oct 14, 2020

For a creditor to put a lien on real property there usually must first be a judgment. Once there is a judgment against a certain individual then that judgment creditor can enforce their judgment by either placing a lien on real property, garnishing wages, or placing a levy on a bank account. The... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: How long does a conservator have to transfer the estate to the executor in California after the conservatee has died?

I am the executor of my fathers estate listed in his will. He died 4 months ago under a conservatorship, and I have not been informed anything in regards to his estate. I live in Massachusetts which is why I was not his conservator, he received a court appointed one. I was contacted about... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Oct 14, 2020

you need to talk to a probate attorney specifically. if your father only had a will and not an estate plan with a living trust then you will need to open probate to administer his estate and transfer assets.

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: If I'm a Mexican citizen and my mom died in CA without a will in place... can i claim her property?

My mom passed 5 years ago. I am the oldest, I have 3 half siblings that are US citizens, i am not. Mom left no will. The house was paid for. No taxes are owed.

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Oct 13, 2020

If mom died without a Will (called dying intestate) then the Probate Court has to approve the disposition of her assets. Someone has to go to the Probate Court where she died and start the proceedings. It won't matter where you live. Her assets will be divided per the law which generally... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for California on
Q: If I am a co-trustee and on title, can I be denied access to inspect property that is occupied by the other co-trustee?

My mother passed away and made her partner of 15 years and me, co-trustees. Her partner is allowed to occupy the house for 5 years, then the home and most of the contents pass to me. Her partner has not allowed me to visit the property and refuses to communicate about the actual maintenance of... Read more »

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Oct 12, 2020

Most trusts that allow a right of occupancy for a period of years will specify in great detail exactly what the respective duties, rights, and responsibilities are for both the occupant (your co-trustee) and the ultimate beneficiary (you). Typically, these rights of occupancy grant the ultimate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: I was asked to sign a waiver of bond when my mother passed away how does that affect me
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Oct 9, 2020

A bond is like an insurance policy that covers the performance of certain duties by a person or company. You don't say who the bond was supposed to cover. If it was you, then you are acting as an executor without being bonded and if you do bad things, you are personally responsible. If the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My uncle changed my grandma’s will without her consent after she suffered from a stoke which caused brain damage.

How can I take action to be able to get my inheritance that she told me I would receive when she was coherent?

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Oct 8, 2020

If your grandma is still alive, you would need to become your grandma’s conservator to assess whether your uncle has taken undue advantage of her and to perhaps revoke her Will if you discover she was mentally incompetent at the time she signed it. You can also wait until after she dies to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Banking and Probate for California on
Q: I have a check from PayPal from a deceased relative's accounts. The check is drawn from a Wells Fargo account.

I submitted the California Small Estate Affidavit to PayPal with a notary attachment. However, the check was made out in my deceased relative's name only. Which is not how other checks have been made out.

Two banks that I do business with, including Wells Fargo, have declined to... Read more »

John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Oct 7, 2020

I would send it back to PayPal along with a California Small Estate Affidavit (free forms online) filled out by the person who legally is the next of kin (or beneficiary of a will if there is a will). Ask them to re-issue to the correct person or persons. Good luck.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My dad had an acct that was in his trust and when chase bought them out they made a mistake and listed it not in trust
Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Oct 6, 2020

There may be relatively simple ways to fix this issue. I'm assuming your father has passed away? Depending upon when he died and the amount in the account, you may be able to use a small estate affidavit to transfer to the trust. These forms are available on the Internet, but I would be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Agricultural Law and Civil Litigation for California on
Q: Are the property lines accurate enough to use as evidence of property line in court. I'm having issues with a neighbor

A site listed as patented on justia called real estate portal .

George W. Wolff Esq.
George W. Wolff Esq. answered on Sep 29, 2020

USUALLY FOR A TRIAL YOU NEED A SPOTTED BOUNDARY LINE SURVEY BY A LICENSED SURVEYOR.

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Estate Planning, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can a joint tenant/owner have a lien put on house (primary residence) if other owner passes away with credit card debt?

California atty. preferred:

My mother and grandmother live in Seal Beach Leisure World.

If they are both co-owners and residents (joint tenancy) of this property and one passes away (God forbid) with some credit card debt, can the creditor(s) put a lien on the property postmortem... Read more »

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison answered on Sep 28, 2020

It can be place on there While the parties are alive. If the debtor passes first, the creditor must remove the lien or risk blemishing title. If the non debtor dies first, besting title in the living debtor, creditors are free to collect on the debt and the lien is secured.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Collections for California on
Q: Adding my name to our home title by doing a QuitClaim Deed documentation and filing it to the County

If I have creditors after me - will they now go after our home? (California property)

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Sep 28, 2020

Yes, if you have any property, your creditors may have a claim against it. Tread carefully before adding your name to any asset when you have creditor claims against you. Consult with an estate planning attorney.

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