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California Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My mom died Dec 21,2022. She has a Will. How do I file Will with the court? I hope I won't b penalized for being late
Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 29, 2023

I'm sorry to hear about your mom passing. Wills must be hand-delivered to the Clerk of the Court, probate division, where your mom passed. Make sure to keep a good hard copy for yourself as well as a good digital copy so that you can share the will with beneficiaries or financial institutions.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I am the next of kin on my mothers life insurance policy. Can I use the money from policy to pay probate attorney fees?
Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 29, 2023

Yes. In this case, the life insurance policy is a non-probate asset. You can use a non-probate asset to pay probate attorney fees and other costs of probate administration.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: My father lives in California, n owns 4 acres in Antwerp, New York, He wants to Will it to me. Should he? Or a diff way?

Basically my father wants to leave the property he has in New York State to me in a Will, 4 acres, 2 to me and 2 acres to his stepson and Step Daughter. What I would like to know if it is best to Will it to us or if there is another way we should be handling it before he passes on? I and him live... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
answered on Jan 28, 2023

Most people will benefit from a Living Trust, coupled with a "pour over" Will (it pours your stuff over into the Trust -- I did NOT invent that name myself). A Trust allows you to plan your estate without it going through the Probate process after your death (even a modest estate without... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: My father lives in California, n owns 4 acres in Antwerp, New York, He wants to Will it to me. Should he? Or a diff way?

Basically my father wants to leave the property he has in New York State to me in a Will, 4 acres, 2 to me and 2 acres to his stepson and Step Daughter. What I would like to know if it is best to Will it to us or if there is another way we should be handling it before he passes on? I and him live... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 29, 2023

Greetings Chico. I agree with the other attorneys' answers, however, I wanted to add that your father can execute and record a new deed adding you as a joint tenant with the right of survivorship. If you survive your father, then you will become the sole owner after recording a Affidavit of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I am unemployed no money to hire probate lawyer is thier a pro bono attorney in Sacramento.

Mother is decedent. Has a Will. I am only living child and next of kin. She was a widow

Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 28, 2023

Probate attorneys do not get paid until the judge authorizes payment to both the attorney and the executor/administrator. Yes, I can assist. Call me to discuss.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I am need of a protocol attorney ASAP file probate help me through the whole probate process

Pro Bono Attorney mom passed away has a will. I am only living child and in will as executor #2 the #1 passed away before my mom. Need help file petition probate

Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 28, 2023

I'm sorry to hear about your mom passing. Please call me so that we can discuss how I can best assist you through the process.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I need to file petition for probate I need pro bono attorney. Can anyone help me please

Mom has Will. Has home w a mortgage, appraised 350,000. I am in Will as executor and I am the only living child. Mom was a widow.

Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 28, 2023

Attorneys cannot be paid for representing executors or administrators in probate court absent a court order. Typically the property gets sold to pay all probate-related fees and fees of the estate. With that said, call me if you would like to discuss how I can best represent you through the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My father passed away a week ago and I have a will in hand dated 1990. Is it valid? When should I file it?

In the 1990 will my mother and I are beneficiaries. They divorced in 1991 and he remarried in 1998. Does this make the entire will invalid or just his ex-wife's portion? Do I have to wait 40 days to file the will?

Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 26, 2023

Assuming the 1990 Will was properly drafted, executed, and witnessed, is valid unless another Will superseded the 1990 Will. I would have a probate attorney review the 1990 Will and the divorce decree to see if there is any conflict. I would also check with the new spouse to see if she has an... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I lived with my boyfriend for 7 years. He died in a work accident. He had no will or beneficiary listed on any assets or

Insurance policies. He always said I would be taken care of if he died. No where am I listed as a beneficiary to his investment accounts, house, bank accounts, etc. He leaves behind 2 sisters he had no contact with for over 20 years. Do I have any standing to sue his estate? Numerous friends and... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Jan 26, 2023

I am so sorry for your loss and even more sorry to be the bearer of bad news, which is that no amount of testimony will fix a failed or missing estate plan. If your boyfriend died with no surviving spouse or parents or children and no written estate plan and no designated death beneficiaries, then... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Yes, my father passed away without a will. My mother is asking me to sign a bond waiver. Before my dad passed away.

My grandparents left a cabin to him. In the living trust, they left a portion to all four of us boys, so why would she have a side of a bondwaiver before it goes to the probate.

Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 24, 2023

I'm sorry to hear about your dad passing. According to the probate code, as the surviving spouse, your mom has priority to act as the administrator of your father's probate estate. The court can waive the bond requirement if all beneficiaries sign a bond waiver. If all beneficiaries do... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: Quick claim deed left to mom by her father and both have passed.but her brother lived in house until his death he paid

The taxes but never changed the deed dose he and his children now own the house.and if not what do her children do now

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Jan 21, 2023

There is an area of law called “squatter’s rights”, which allows people who continuously live by themselves in vacant property for a certain period of time to apply for ownership. Each state has different rules and requirements to gain ownership. It’s hard to tell if these laws apply to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: What can I do about property owned by my dad forced to give to mother and mother giving it to her daughter after passing

My father passed July 18 22 . I learned a couple months prior, that my controlling mother separated 40yrs made him change everything from my name to hers by telling him he would not have health coverage if she divorced him and he owed her. He told me this and she also told me it was not my business... Read more »

Joshua D. Brysk
Joshua D. Brysk PRO label
answered on Jan 19, 2023

You would have to first prove that his transfer to her was not voluntary (under undue influence, lack of capacity, or fraud) and it took place within the statute of limitations. The claim (if any) belongs to your father's estate and would have to be filed through probate court. Talk to your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: parents bought a property joint tenants, parents divorced, dad rec'd property, never changed deed, died, does mom get it
Joshua D. Brysk
Joshua D. Brysk PRO label
answered on Jan 19, 2023

We'll start with the deed. With the joint tenancy, when Dad dies, the survivor (Mom) gets the property. However, if Dad received an order or judgment in the divorce which said the property will be solely his, that should be enforced to reform the title [removing Mom]. Now who gets it? It... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: what form should be filed in probate case to inform judge of new discovery

trust creator specified in trust that if benificiary prdeceases distribution than it passes to his issues

Joshua D. Brysk
Joshua D. Brysk PRO label
answered on Jan 19, 2023

If you want a document (like a trust) to be included in evidence, it can be submitted as an exhibit to a declaration. The declaration should be in conjunction with a motion, application, hearing or proceeding of some type. You might want to consult a local attorney for more explanation.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Is 21110 anti lapse effective if a named beneficiary dies during Probate.

4 named sibs on Will. During Probate, 1 of the named sibs died. Does their share go to their children?

Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 17, 2023

Yes. Probate Code section 21110 requires the issue (in this case children) of the deceased transferee to take in the deceased transferee’s place unless the will specifies otherwise.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Small Claims for California on
Q: collect a court order debt in small claim from the deceased access or estate. Court Advisor me to file correct form

I do Not Know What Form to file to continue collecting the debt owed to me

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Jan 16, 2023

It’s hard to know what you need. Most courts have a self-help center that can assist you with what form to use, but they cannot advise you after that because the people working there are not lawyers. Start there because it’s free. If you still need help after that, you’ll need to hire a... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Small Claims for California on
Q: collect a court order debt in small claim from the deceased access or estate. Court Advisor me to file correct form

I do Not Know What Form to file to continue collecting the debt owed to me

Ravi Patel
Ravi Patel
answered on Jan 14, 2023

Your question is not entirely clear, but it seems like you may need to file a "creditors claim" if the decedent has a probate open. If not, you may have to open a probate for them. But that could be more of a hassle and expense than you really want.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Once a probate case is underway, is it too late to change to a spousal property petition?
James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge
answered on Dec 30, 2022

No, it’s not too late.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I have a home insurance check made to my late father.my bank and agent say out of their hands how do I transfer property

Home insurance check made to my late father. He passed while in process of claim. I already paid deposit for fix of home and waiting for this check. Went and had small affidavits filled out but bank is indicating it’s insurance problem and when sent to insurance they say check is issued it’s... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Dec 28, 2022

If you have presented a proper small estate affidavit to the insurance company and you have returned the check to them with the small estate affidavit, the insurance company is obligated to replace the check with a new one made payable to the person who is entitled to the funds according to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Probate for California on
Q: What rights/responsibilities does power of attorney have regarding deceased loved one's lease?

My mother was appointed power of attorney over my grandmother's affairs and she recently passed. She is working with the property management company where my grandmother lived to clear out her property but also learned that my grandmother was allowing someone else to live in her apartment who... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Dec 20, 2022

Once the principal/ward dies, the power of attorney is terminated for the attorney in fact agent. Hire a competent CA attorney for advice.

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