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California Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: How do you disclaim an inheritance from another country.

My family is from Romania. My grandfather died a few years ago, there is no will. He owned some land and firewood rights that my mother doesn't want, I would assume everything would go to my grandmother but apparently it is different there. How would my mother be able to disclaim and let my... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Mar 20, 2022

I’m sorry to say you’ll have to ask a Romanian attorney. Laws are different in each country so, if I tell you how to do it in California, it will not help you if Romanian laws require a different method. It’s likely your mother will have to sign a document, but what the document must say is... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: I have basic will, life Insurence, very small estate, bank account. I have absolutely no one to be Executor,

What do I do or what happens without an executor

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Mar 16, 2022

If your estate requires probate, then someone will ultimately petition the court to become executor in the absence of the Will nominating an executor. However, your estate may not require probate with simple estate planning. For bank accounts, you can designate beneficiaries with the bank, and... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Need to file a petition in San Diego county to remove a trustee

Trustee is also a beneficiary that is making decisions in his own self interest

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Mar 16, 2022

If you are looking for a lawyer, you can search in Justia for a probate or estate planning attorney in San Diego County. Lawyers are not allowed to solicit clients through the responses we post. I hope that helps.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: How soon after my mom dies can we sell her home? The home is in a revocable trust in California.
Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Mar 15, 2022

If you are confident that all of your mother's creditors have been paid or that there are sufficient other assets to pay those bills, the successor trustee can usually sell the house right away (depending on the rules in the trust). If you are not 100% certain about whether there are any... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Risks of filling out small estate affidavit with banks if the decendent's full value is over probate amount(166k)?

The decendant's full value(when adding all bank accounts together) are over 200k, however most of the individual bank accounts are less than 30K. Can a small estate affidavit be completed with those banks without requiring them to go through probate? Do the banks share information with one... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Mar 8, 2022

I don't know if banks share information with one another, but you've got other issues to consider. Small Estate Affidavits require people to sign under penalty of perjury and, if the information is a lie, then you've perjured yourself. California Penal Code Section 115 says perjury... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Cam my mother give me a 30 day notice if I have lived in my house for 8 years? And didn't rent from her? she put in her

My grandmother bought a home for me 8 years ago, the house was in her name, when she died the house went into y mother name and was not even listed on the trust. There is a lot of info that goes with his but my main concern is she just sent my fiance a 30-day notice to move out of the house I have... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Mar 4, 2022

Unfortunately, no lawyer in the world can answer your question without reading your grandmother's trust. That is the key to this whole situation. One other note: If the law firm represented the trustee of your grandmother's trust, that law firm cannot advise you because you are a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: my 22 yr old son died intestate in Marin county california. How do I as his parent get appointed as Administrator of

his estate. He was not married and had no children. His estate is valued at less than $150,000. I need to get Letters

of Administration signed by a court in order to get his medical records. Thank you

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Mar 2, 2022

First, I'm so very sorry you lost your son. That's just awful. My heart goes out to you. But to answer your question, the only way to get Letters is from a Probate Court. However, since your son's estate is less than $166,250 (the current probate limit in California), you should be... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can my mother challenge the trust for property my grandmother left me instead of her?

For several years my grandmother had it in her trust that my mother got her house when she passed. In the last year of her life, she offered me the house because she was worried my mom would sell it. I agreed and she amended her trust. She obtained a Note of Capacity from her Primary Care Doctor,... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Feb 28, 2022

Anybody can sue anybody for any reason. Whether or not they will win is a whole different matters. It sounds like your grandmother and her attorney took great care to ensure that the amendment would hold up in court. Although there are no guarantees, chances are if your mother does try to break... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: I need to sell my house quickly I am a widower and have no children do I need to put the house in a trust.

My wife died four years ago and the house is still held in both our names, no trust.

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Feb 27, 2022

I can think of no reason to put your house in a trust if you are planning on selling it soon anyway. You might need a trust for other reasons, but facilitating a sale to occur soon is not one of them. You do, however, need to consult a probate attorney about updating the title to your house so... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Need power of attorney for finances for gentleman in nursing care.

He had a heart attack and is no longer able to take care of himself.

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Feb 23, 2022

The only requirement is that he has his mental capacity, which means he fully understands that he would be giving up the power to make his own decisions about his finances and, presumably, his healthcare as well. He needs to understand what he is signing. Physical abilities do not matter. It's... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Why would Trustee wait for letters from probate court to distribute nonprobate assets that he already sold or cashed in?

Grandmother had a revocable living trust that became irrevocable upon her death. In her trust the section about distributions states after payment of last expenses and taxes the remaining trust principal is to be distributed outright 100%. She has a pour-over will and 2 small accounts of hers had... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Feb 22, 2022

I agree that the timeline for distributing trust assets is too long. Does the successor trustee have an attorney? If so, I would press the attorney for answers. If this gets stalled out much longer, you can hire an attorney to put some kind of pressure on the trustee to get this wrapped up. In... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: I am a beneficiary to a trust/will that has a no- contest clause.

I am a beneficiary to a trust/will that has a no- contest clause. A few months ago, I recieved word that one of the other beneficiaries was planning on taking items and giving them to other family members without permission. I informed the fiduciary and the trust lawyer, who warned her that her... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Feb 22, 2022

The no contest provision in a trust or will relates to challenges to the trust or will itself. For example, if a parent gave everything he owned to one of his two children and the disinherited child challenged (or “contested”) the terms of the trust by bringing evidence that the parent had... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for California on
Q: If I never filed for a prescriptive easement in california, before a recent change in ownership was made, is it too late

My Neighbor of 20+years I've learned has recently transferred title of his property via quite claim, to another neighbor, but part of his property hasn't been used by the previous owner, but rather fenced off completely no gate no signs nothing, never ! As long as I can remember. And i... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Feb 21, 2022

I am not sure that you will prevail on a prescriptive easement claim. A prescriptive easement allows a trespasser to acquire the right to use the land of another without paying for it. To acquire a prescriptive easement over another's land, the following elements must be met (Felgenhauer v.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I own and live in a home w/ my sister. She wants to convert to a duplex and rent half. What are the tax implications?

The home has been equally owned by the sisters for 50 years. They both have family who would ultimately inherit the property. Would the tax basis change? Would the property taxes change?

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Feb 21, 2022

Converting a single-family residence to a duplex will not necessarily increase the value of the home. However, if the value is increased, the property taxes will be reassessed to reflect the increased value of the home. Per the California Board of Equalization website, new construction or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Probate for California on
Q: Can a property in a trust that became irrevocable upon my grandma's death be reassessed for property taxes in San Diego

My grandma moved the property into a living trust in the mid 90's. She passed away in 2019 and the trust became irrevocable. The trust gives a life estate to my uncle. His daughter (my cousin) and I are executors of the trust. As the grandchildren we get the remainder of the property to do... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Feb 15, 2022

Depending on the language in the trust, you should qualify for the Grandparent\Grandchild exemption. You can take a copy of the trust to the County Assessor's office and explain the situation to them. If that doesn't work, contact a lawyer in your area for assistance. Best wishes!

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Am I legally responsible for putting the utilities in my name when the estate has not been settled?

My mother passed away last month. I was living with her and I was her caregiver. I have no income and she was supporting me. My sisters want me to have the utilities and the space rent put in my name but I have no income to pay them. Shouldn’t the estate pay these bills until the estate is... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Feb 11, 2022

I'm sorry to hear about your mom's passing. If your mom prepared a Will, then the Will should be read to see what it says and if there are any directions that may answer your questions. The executor of the Will should secure the personal property so that it can be properly distributed... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My husband passed. He had an S-Corp & had an SBA Loan. Am I liable for the loan?

I have no assets but my step-daughter received 100% of the life insurance. The business is still bringing in some receivables but will be shut down soon.

Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
answered on Feb 11, 2022

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's passing. The SBA may be able to collect from your husband's estate, however, if there is no estate, then the SBA should not be able to collect.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can someone help me fill out a joint Tenancy grant deed. My mom is 86 and we don't know to loose our home .

We bought the house together but she is only 1 on the deed.and no trust.

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Feb 10, 2022

You can hire any attorney to help you with the deed. It should cost about $300. But, if your mom has other assets that total $166,250 in value, your mom will need a trust or you may need to spend a year to two years in probate court before you could inherit those other assets. Talk to an estate... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: I live in California my mom’s trust is In Arkansas.I am wanting to contest the trust. How many day do I have?
Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich
answered on Feb 9, 2022

you will need to speak with an arkansas trusts and estate attorney.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I just inhereted a rental property. The tennants are not paying. They asked for docs. What am I required to give them?

I have a trust that leaves everything to me. I have been very nice to them. I introduced myself in Dec and asked for the rent and gave them my information: name, address, phone number, and email. I told them they could mail it since I don't live near by. They said they would mail it. Jan there... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Feb 6, 2022

The lease is the key document saying what the tenant and the landlord are required to do in various situations. You must comply with any terms in your lease that apply to a change in the Landlord. If your lease doesn’t require notice be given or some specific proof that you are your mom’s... Read more »

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