Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
California Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Probate and Estate Planning for California on
Q: Are my 2 brothers & I entitled to my deceased estranged fathers half of my descesed grandmothers house?

My estranged father just passed away. My grandmother passed away about 4 years ago and she owned a home in California. The property profile lists my grandmother as the owner it actually states her full name and ends with Trust. My aunt my dads sister now lives in the home without reporting death of... Read more »

Bahram Madaen
Bahram Madaen answered on Aug 19, 2020

I believe you have to ask your aunt to produce your grandmother's living trust since the property belongs to her living trust. The request shall be in writing. Then you can determine what course of action you can take.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: In San Jose CA, how can I stop my brother from scattering my father's ashes immediately after the cremation?

My father just passed away today. My oldest brother is planning to immediately cremate and then scatter his ashes. He is also the custodian of my father while he was in elderly care facilities. We all agreed on the cremation. However, my other younger brothers and I want to have the ashes stay in... Read more »

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

File your petition in the probate court. Call the court before filing your petition and ask about having your matter heard ex parte.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I paid ongoing expenses for estate while waiting for my Letters in 6 months of shutdown. Do I need to submit a DE-172?

I am personal representative with full IAEA and estate is solvent.

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Aug 11, 2020

No, but you do need court approval to pay yourself anything out of the estate. Keep your receipts and submit your request for reimbursement at the time of your petition for final distribution and if there’s benefit to the estate, your request for reimbursement should be approved.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for California on
Q: I ran away from a group home at 17, that my probation officer put me in. I’m 18 now and have a kid.

Whenever I look up my name on the public warrant search, nothing comes up. Do I have a warrant? And if I do will they put me in jail if I turn myself in? even though I have a newborn? My charge was resisting arrest

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow answered on Aug 9, 2020

MORE INFO NEEDED.

DID THE COURT ORDER YOU THERE OR DID YOU GO THERE ON YOUR OWN.

IF THE COURT DID YOU PROBABLY HAD A PUBLIC DEFENDER APPOINTED FOR YOU.

IF SO CONTACT THEIR OFFICE TO SEE IF THEY CAN LOOK INTO IT FOR YOU.

IF YOU SURRENDER YOURSELF (WITH A LAWYER) I...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: What rights do I have from my deceased mother's vacant real estate if I have greedy siblings?

I've been the sole caretaker and tax payer of the property for about 10 year's (at my mother's request), before and after she died, and I'd like to claim ownership. Problem is, the deed is missing, and my mother was only named as a co-owner by my grandparents before they died.... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 9, 2020

Deeds are recorded in the County Recorder's office. You can contact your local Realtor to do a property search for you based on the address and get a copy of the existing deed. Can you claim the property as your own? Not as against your greedy siblings who will fight you if they think there... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Banking and Probate for California on
Q: I am sole heir and administrator. I am in chexsystems and cannot open bank account. What will happen when house sells?

I am the petitioner in pro per. I do not have an attorney representing me. Could I amend my order and add a co-administrator?

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Aug 5, 2020

You will need formal Letters from the court which authorize you to act as Administrator for the estate of the decedent. Some banks even require letters which have been certified by the court. You will also need a new federal employer identification number for the estate If you don’t already... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Do I need to file as personal representative of the Estate before filing petition of small estate166,222 or less?

Would like to file for determination of succession of real and personal property under 166,222 in California. Home has mortgage of 150000 and no other assets. Small amount in checking but that's all.

John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Aug 3, 2020

You do not need to file to be PR before filing a small estate petition. However, you do need to get the house valued by a California Probate Referee for that county. Also, the mortgage does not play into the valuation. The $166,250 value is just based on the gross value of the property. So you can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I need a probate lawyer ASAP. I live in Modesto,ca I dont have much money, but am willing to pay what I can.
John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Aug 1, 2020

Can you summarize the situation? A lot of times there is no money needed to start probate. Really depends on the facts. Feel free to post here or email me directly your summary.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: How do I go against a rejection of my creditor’s claim in California probate court?
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Aug 1, 2020

You need to hire a "Probate Attorney" in your local area and take him all the paperwork to evaluate what you should do next. Chris M. Bradford is an attorney on this site and has excellent credentials on this site. He is #1 on the Probate leaderboard, but he is located in Santa Monica.... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: If I reside in California but my family all live in Pennsylvania, in what state should I make out a Will?

I am a 50 year old woman living in California. I never married, have no kids and minimal assets (I own my car and have about $1000 in the bank). Both of my parents and my siblings all live in Pennsylvania. I'm starting the process of "getting my affairs in order" and think the first... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Jul 27, 2020

California. You live here and that is where the Will would be Probated.

Your estate sounds like it would use Simplified Probate (less than $160,000 and no real estate) so the Will won't go thorugh "real" Probate anyway.

View More Answers

4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Insurance Bad Faith and Probate for California on
Q: Is a son or daughter of a beneficiary of a life insurance policy entitled to the proceeds if the the benefiary dies?

And son or daughter is not listed as a beneficiary on the policy?

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Jul 26, 2020

The money goes to the estate of the deceased beneficiary. Then it is distributed based on their Will or the law (if they died without one).

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My brother is 57, on full disability (Parkinson's Disease) and lives in Sutter County.

He doesn't own anything other than household goods. No vehicle or home.

I am a legal assistant in Iowa and will be in charge when he dies. What would be the pros/cons of him having a will drawn up?

He does have a Health Care and Financial POA already executed.

Thank you.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jul 23, 2020

He should have a will that designates a beneficiary for whatever little he owns, and a person who he trusts to handle the distribution of his property and the disposition of his remains, at least. Does not sound like he should spend a lot of money on an estate plan if he owns nothing. You might... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: What is the process for appointing someone as a substitute in the case of property shares in a living trust?

My grandmother left her home to her five children in a living trust, and my mother and uncle are requesting to leave their shares to me. The property cannot be sold unless all five children agree to sell it, and currently my mother and uncle are living at the property with myself. They would like... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Jul 22, 2020

Is the property still held by the Trust? If it is, then only the Trust can say how it may be passed.

If the Trust closed down then the Trustee should have deeded the house to the five siblings; then if they want to pass you their 20% interest they can do so with a deed.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: If I am seeking to end a gaurdenship, but want a change of venue, can I ask for one?

gaurdenship was granted of my kids to thier aunt, but I didn't understand at all what my options were at the time. Both people asking for the kids knew the judge. The judge acknowledged this and said I could change venues. At the time Both parties lived in orange county, and Santa Ana was only... Read more »

Chris M. Bradford
Chris M. Bradford answered on Jul 17, 2020

You can challenge a judge but it has to be at the beginning of the case and your case has already been decided. Once a guardianship has been set up, you can make a motion for it to be terminated, but you have to have a good reason to do so. If a guardianship was ordered in Orange county, you have... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: lived unwed with SO for 30+ yrs. He passed no will, daughter wants to claim everything. She have rights to items in home

There was a restraining order against the daughter 6 years ago but I’m not sure if it’s still in place, we didn’t renew it. She wants to take everything in our home and says everything is hers. My name is not on the house title.

Chris M. Bradford
Chris M. Bradford answered on Jul 15, 2020

First, the restraining order has no effect on division of items after death.

Secondly, who gets what, when there is no will, is broken down into two major categories.

The first category is items which have ownership papers of some kind. For example a house has a deed, which is an...
Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My rights oldest daughter only one father passed what are my rights owns house in Walnut Creek calif
Chris M. Bradford
Chris M. Bradford answered on Jul 15, 2020

I am sorry for your loss. It is unclear who passed away. It sounds like the father of your oldest daughter passed away. Is that correct? There are three main ways to collect assets from someone who passed away: First the person wrote will or trust and left you a gift. You have to read the... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: my aunt put me on the deed to her house she passed away and didnt have a will do i need to go throuqh probate
Chris M. Bradford
Chris M. Bradford answered on Jul 13, 2020

Sorry to hear that your aunt passed away.

This information that follows only applies to deeds in California. If the deed is in another state, you will need get information related to that state. Assuming the house is in California, first you need a copy of the deed. You can get a copy...
Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My mother passed in CA with no will and a sub $10,000 bank account. With a Small Estate Affidavit can Medi-cal bill me.

I'm mostly concerned with Medi-Cal billing me for costs against her estate even if it doesn't go to probate. She had no will and no beneficiary listed on the account. If they can how do I subtract the burial costs?

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Jul 11, 2020

Yes. Medi-Cal can and will bill you once you have provided them with a notice of death and a copy of the death certificate which you are obligated to do.

You are however entitled to reimbursement of your costs of burial before they get paid.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Dad died yeas ago, one gift refused to take the money he had been left (~$5000), then he died . What is status of money

My uncle did not take money because he did not trust the government in China. When he died, his wife also would not take money for the same reason, they had 2 sons, one has died. We do not have any contact with them. My dad died in 1982. We are trying to resolve this issue.

Chris M. Bradford
Chris M. Bradford answered on Jul 10, 2020

If a beneficiary to a will or trust refused to take a gift given to him or her, it goes back into the "remainder" of the estate. Then the executor of the will or the trustee of the trust reads the will or trust and sees who gets the "remainder" of the estate. The will or trust... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: Mom lived in house 50+yrs & paid off original mortgage in her mom's name. She has 3 siblings, who owns it?

Grandmother died in 1970's. There was no probate. Her siblings want to sell the house now to split cash for retirement, but she does not want to leave. Can they force my mom to move and sell? Who owns the house? Unknown if there is a will or who's name is on the title of the house.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 9, 2020

It is not possible to answer your questions without more information. This will probably require some kind of probate procedure to get the title out of your grandmother's name and into the names of her heirs. Who those heirs are depends on facts that have not been stated. Your best bet is... Read more »

View More Answers

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.