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California Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Immigration Law and Probate for California on
Q: If person died on May 1, 2022, by when must I file Petition for Probate, Form DE-111? Can I file it on Tuesday May 31?
Julie King
Julie King
answered on May 25, 2022

There is no set deadline by which to open probate, but filing sooner rather than later is always best because you need to gather a lot of information and things like bank statements are harder to get the longer you wait. So May 31st will be just fine. Best wishes!

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I need to probate a will in California and the Philippines at the same time. What do I do?

Both California and the Philippines require lodging of the original will, which is obviously not possible for concurrent proceedings. What do I do?

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on May 18, 2022

You open a "main" probate in the state of the decedent's last residence. Then you open an "ancillary" probate in the other state. You lodge with the other state a triple certified copy of the will lodged in the main probate.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for California on
Q: Can an HOA stop me from staying in the house I inherited from my mother who passed away?

I was the live in caregiver for my mother who is buying a home in a 60+ trailer park. However, my mom passed away recently and now I am the heir to the property. The HOA has told me that because I am only 54 years old I cannot live in my house, I cannot rent it out to anyone whether they are 60+ or... Read more »

Rogelio (Rod) B. Tuazon
Rogelio (Rod) B. Tuazon
answered on May 10, 2022

I believe the HOA may be correct. The Fair Housing Act exempts communities intended for people 55-62 or older to discriminate based on familial status. It appears that your mother’s trailer park caters only to residents who are over 60 years old. You have two options: either (1) find someone you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My mom just passed away but she didn't leave a will. Her house isn't paid off. What happens?

What happens to her bills?

What happens in probate?

Julie King
Julie King
answered on May 10, 2022

Unfortunately, you will have to go through the Probate Court process, which takes a minimum of one year. What this means is either a lawyer you hire or you (or perhaps another family member) needs to file a document called a Petition in the Probate Court, provide all the notices required by law,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Transfer of real property, intestate estate. 2 of the 6 heirs hope to take over the property, all heirs agree. What now?

I am the personal representative and heir for my father's intestate estate in CA. In regards to my father's real property valued over $166k, the property rights, to my understanding, defaults to be equally divided between his 6 children (heirs). There is an existing mortgage on the... Read more »

Gina B Leguria
Gina B Leguria
answered on May 6, 2022

It all depends on who is on the deed. This sounds like a probate case and you should consult with an attorney.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Transfer of real property, intestate estate. 2 of the 6 heirs hope to take over the property, all heirs agree. What now?

I am the personal representative and heir for my father's intestate estate in CA. In regards to my father's real property valued over $166k, the property rights, to my understanding, defaults to be equally divided between his 6 children (heirs). There is an existing mortgage on the... Read more »

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge
answered on May 6, 2022

I agree with Gina. It sounds like you will need to file a petition for probate and ask for the appointment of an estate administrator before you try to refinance the property, and the six of you should be able to agree on whatever you want provided it’s in writing and your settlement agreement... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: In California after death of spouse and court has approved spousal property order for real estate do I now need a deed?

If so what type and what is procedure? Thanks

Rogelio (Rod) B. Tuazon
Rogelio (Rod) B. Tuazon
answered on May 4, 2022

Based on your question, I would have to assume that the property was owned solely by spouse and there was no living trust or transfer on death deed. And I also would have to assume that you had to go to the court to petition for probate and the court decided that the property passes solely to you.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Medical Malpractice and Probate for California on
Q: Hello I was hoping to get some help in regards to my fiance who is currently locked up in Yolo county wdld ca

I'm looking for a criminal pro bono attorney in regards to my fiance getting released from yellow county detention center in Woodland California he has brain injury and a lot of health problems and doesn't remember anything especially his case that he's dealing with and I would like... Read more »

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
answered on May 4, 2022

You need a local lawyer.i'm in Palm Springs…

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Probate for California on
Q: What would you recommend in the following situation:

The property ( Vacant Land Lot value under $30,000) has a few owners.

One of them has the property under Living Trust, he is passed away.

This person doesn't have a wife or children.

We can not get Trust documents of his Living Trust.

What would you recommend... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Apr 27, 2022

Unfortunately, you can't just give away property that belongs to someone else. Even if you tried, the County would never accept a Grant Deed that was signed by someone who is not authorized to give away the property.

When someone passes away and has a trust, the trust will say who...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: What are my rights when dealing with code enforcement am I supposed to be given time to fix the issues with the house

I've been living in my aunt's house for 2 years but she passed away and the house is in my grandparents name and they passed away a long time ago I've been in the house for 2 years and now family and code enforcement is trying to kick me and my family out they said we have 2 days to... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Apr 20, 2022

If your grandparents did not have a living trust, then the property must go through the probate process to change the title from your grandparents to their heirs or beneficiaries. In the alternative, the home will be sold through probate, and the proceeds of the sale will eventually be distributed... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: California Probate

I posted yesterday but I think I should be more clear. My dad passed away January 9th 2022. He lived in San Jose California most of his life. He was in hospice for the last 2-3 months of his life. Anybody that's been to a hospice knows it's not the place to see a life end. My dad went to... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
answered on Apr 20, 2022

Financial Power of Attorney expires upon death, so the co-executor should not act under the power of attorney. Probate may be necessary, however, I would first check with the bank to see if your father left pay-on-death instructions with the bank. If so, then there is no need to probate the cash,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Dad lives in California. Last 4 months was in hospice. He spent last 5days of life in North Carolina. Where probate?

My dad lives in California most of his life. He got stage 4 prostate cancer and ended up in a hospice. He then spent the last 5 days of his life in North Carolina at his brother and sister-in-law's house. His sister-in-law had power of attorney and his co executor of the will is a family... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
PREMIUM
Genene N. Dunn
answered on Apr 19, 2022

good question. probate should be administered where the decedent was a resident at the time of death. With your facts, I would presume that California would be the appropriate state for probate as him being in North Carolina the last 5 days of his life would establish his residency in North... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My Mother just passed away without a will and my step cleaned out her personal bank account. Is there anything I can do?

The bank account contained her inheritance from her Mother that she purposely kept separate.

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Apr 12, 2022

It will depend on the dollar value of all your mother's probatable assets and the state in which your mother lived. (I'll assume your mother lived in California.) If your mother's probatable assets are valued at $166,250 or more, your mother's assets must go through the probate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Collections and Probate for California on
Q: If only one of the defendants responded to a lawsuit, can plaintiff asks for a default judgement on the other defendant?

I sued a couple of persons, only one responded to the complaint.

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich
answered on Apr 6, 2022

Yes if service was proper and sufficient time has passed.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: If my brother and I give me, the administrator, permission, can I use an affidavit to transfer real property?

I began regular probate without a lawyer in the middle of the covid lockdowns. The 2 free consultations over the telephone went badly as one was interested only if I was selling my parent's house. My daughter and I have lived in the house since 2008 as I was the primary caregiver for both my... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
answered on Mar 30, 2022

I'm sorry that your consultations went badly. Most California real estate needs to pass through the probate process and the affidavit process cannot be used unless the real estate is of very low value. Attorneys do need to get paid for their work through the process. There are creative ways... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: So if the simple will Islas been altered from its original state which you have a hard copy to prove that and the pages

And the testers signiture is at top of page and part that says

In wittness wherefore ,,,,,,, is on the previous page no numbers on pages and lines fill in parts are not initialed is the Will considered in valid

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Mar 24, 2022

As a practical matter, I would try to locate the attorney who originally drafted the Will and supervised the execution of the Will. The attorney will know if the Will is valid. However, if the Will does not look professionally drafted, and it looks like there may have been hanky-panky going on... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: I live in my dad's CA rental, when he passes this property to me, will it be reassessed as it is not his primary home?

This is regarding property tax reassessment due to the newly passed Prop 19 in California. He lives in a different residence that he plans to leave to my brother. I rent his other house now and he wants to give it to me now (if the tax implications are more favorable for him now or myself later) or... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Mar 21, 2022

The only way your property taxes will be the same as your father's is if BOTH of the following are true: (1) the now-rental home becomes your father's primary residence and is his primary residence at his death -- meaning he is not living in an Alzheimer's facility or anywhere else... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Dad died Wed. and my sister (100% beneficiary) wants to petition LA court to add me to Living Trust. How do we do this?

My father died on Wednesday and we are two children but my father left everything to her (she is 100% beneficiary). So how does she now petition the court to add me which she wants to do to make it a 50/50 split. How exactly do we do this? Do we need a lawyer? It is a simple trust with only a... Read more »

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge
answered on Mar 21, 2022

I agree with John. Court may not be be necessary. Talk to an estate planning lawyer about the possibility of a qualified disclaimer, or consider a straight gift from your sister after she collects the money from the trust, or perhaps a simple assignment by her of a half share of the trust out of... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Is there an easier way than probate to transfer real estate, clear title and owned outright, to an established heir?

My brother, never married, died intestate with no debt, a savings/checking account, a 10 acre parcel owned solely, and one half title on a house held as community property with our mother.

My mom, being first in succession, received the cash assets, his union pension and SS benefits after... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Mar 20, 2022

Probate will almost certainly be required, unless the house title with your mother allows. It is possible the house jointly owned with your mother can pass without probate, if it is held in joint tenancy. (Your post says "community property", but that would not be correct for a couple... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I'm with a small non-profit, Redwood Coast Humane Society, on the Mendocino Coast. I have a question about a will.

There is a joint will from 1990 that names us as sole beneficiary if both husband and wife die at the same time. The husband died in 2007 and the wife in 2020 and they can’t find a will for the wife. Her sister wants the only existing will (the joint will) thrown out.

Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
answered on Mar 10, 2022

While I love the Mendocino Coast (and Albion in particular), I'm confused about whether or not the Will clearly identifies a beneficiary under the circumstances. If the Will does not clearly identify a beneficiary, then the property may pass to the intestate heir or heirs. Please have an... Read more »

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