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California Estate Planning Questions & Answers
2 Answers | 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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2 Answers | 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
Karn Thapar
Karn Thapar
answered on Apr 15, 2024

The answer to this question is unfortunately not straightforward. It really depends on how your family trust is/will be structured. Furthermore, you may be able to title the property under a family trust and then have a co-trustee assist you with financial and other decision making. Married... View More

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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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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

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Apr 10, 2024

If the home belonged to your father, he could do whatever he wanted with it. Unfortunately, transferring real estate from one person to another MUST be in writing. [Verbal agreements are acceptable in other areas of the law, but they are not enforceable to transfer real estate from one owner to... View More

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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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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.

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Apr 4, 2024

Two things: (1) Proposition 19 completely changed the property tax laws so the overwhelming majority of real estate in California will be reassessed to current value -- meaning property taxes will go up substantially in many cases -- so it isn't automatically true that the parent-child... View More

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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

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

James L. Arrasmith
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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

James L. Arrasmith
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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, 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

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Mar 29, 2024

Please allow me to address your comment that you want to draft your own trust. I regularly tell clients that there are several legal documents that a template would work for, assuming the template is based on the correct state's law. But estate planning is unfortunately not one of those areas... 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

James L. Arrasmith
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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, 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

Karn Thapar
Karn Thapar
answered on Mar 26, 2024

It is highly recommended that you have either a will or a living trust in place to transfer assets after passing. A will must be probated through the courts, so a living trust is another option which allows you to bypass probate if set up properly. What documentation you need is highly dependent... 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??

Karn Thapar
Karn Thapar
answered on Mar 22, 2024

Generally speaking, the executor should not be commingling estate funds and personal funds. Sometimes the latter is used for convenience, however best practice is to use the funds available from the estate to pay estate expenses. Regarding getting back into the trust, you should speak to a... 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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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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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.

John B. Palley
John B. Palley
answered on Mar 19, 2024

I would say that is a pretty common arrangement. In lieu of “rent” you would pay the mortgage and utilities. Of course this is a general answer and each situation is unique. If the mortgage is significantly more than fair market value rent than perhaps some other arrangement would be more fair... View More

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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.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 20, 2024

Under California law, the responsibility to pay the mortgage after the homeowners have passed away typically falls on the estate of the deceased until the property is transferred or sold. If you are living in the house, it does not automatically obligate you to assume the mortgage payments, unless... 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

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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