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California Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for California on
Q: Does F.C. 3044 apply in a probate guardianship matter, where the mother of children has been abusive?
Mike Darlington
Mike Darlington answered on May 3, 2020

No, not as far as the presumption is concerned. While the act itself is certainly relevant to the issue of guardianship; it is not a family law custody matter and so 3044 would not apply.

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Dad left house to me & my brother. My brother died & my my dad died 1 week later. Do i get the house or split w his son?

My dad did leave my brothers son money. But the house was instructed specifically to me and my brother to split but my dad died just one week after my brother and didn’t have time to amend the will. He said the house is all mine? Does my nephew have claim to the house?

David Ostrove
David Ostrove answered on May 3, 2020

A local probate and trust lawyer needs to read the will. It all depends on the terms of the will.

Typically your Dad's will would provide what disposition is to be made if you or your brother predecease your Dad.

You need to take your Dad's will to s probate and trust...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My father died without a will. I don’t believe that. He always told me he left me life insurance. I am his daughter.

Does my mom just get everything? No questions asked? Because she claims he didn’t have a will?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 2, 2020

The existence or absence of a will is usually irrelevant when it comes fo life insurance. Life insurance usually is paid out pursuant to a beneficiary designation unless the designated beneficiary is the estate, which is rare.

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My mom left house equally to me & my sister. My sister died same day as mom. Do i get house or do her kids get half?

Mom has a will leaving both myself and my sister equally 50/50 her house. But my sister and mom both died on the same day. Do i inherit the entire house or is my sisters husband or kids entitled to half of the house? My aunt was assigned the executor of the will. The grandkids were left specific... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 2, 2020

Most likely you are going to own the house with your sister’s heirs but there is no way to know that with certainty without reviewing the will.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Collections and Probate for California on
Q: Is the surviving spouse liable for the deceased spouse's credit card debt if only in the deceased's name?

If credit card debt was taken out by the deceased spouse in their name only and without the surviving spouse's knowledge, what rights does the surviving spouse have? Are they still liable for the debt? There is no will or estate.

John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Apr 29, 2020

That's tough to answer as there are many variables and ways it could go. A general rule in probate is that a person (spouse or otherwise) is liable for debts (even if they didn't know about it) to the extent they received assets from the decedent. So if the spouse received money/assets... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: The trust terms: divide the home equally one third each. Can my trustee sister demand I pay the entire existing mortgage

My two sisters and I have agreed I will buy their interest in the home. My sister who is the trustee demands I pay the entire existing mortgage or she will not sign the deed. The trust terms are the home is divided equally one third each. Can my sister alter the terms, threaten to not sign the deed... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Apr 28, 2020

There are private investors who provide liquidity to estates for exactly this situation. They provide funding to allay your Sister's apprehension, and should also provide guidance in preserving the historical property tax.

Jonathan Purcell is a California Attorney. This posting does...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Banking and Probate for California on
Q: I’m the trustee for a special needs trust the beneficiary is my sister inlaw

I am trustee my husband is co trustee of his mothers trust and each share one half the sisters half will be a 3 party SNT FOR 21 years she was not on ssi age 37, she suffered from depression and her mom was worried and wanted to make sure she would qualify for assistance. I am the executor /... Read more »

Bill Sweeney
Bill Sweeney answered on Apr 28, 2020

A California special needs trust that has been validly created avoids probate. Pursuant to the provisions of the special needs trust, a trustee has a fiduciary responsibility for the management of trust assets. A breach of that responsibility can create liability for the trustee. If the special... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: my mom notarized a letter, to sell her home (with mortgage) and split proceeds equally with siblings. Is Probate needed
David Ostrove
David Ostrove answered on Apr 16, 2020

Maybe the letter qualifies as a handwritten will. You need to take it to a lawyer to find out. Maybe the letter could qualify as a trust. I don't know . You need to take it to a lawyer who prepares wills and trusts and does probate and trust work. Maybe the letter qualifies as a deed. You need... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: California probate

Sister died and now my 2 brothers and I are involved in her probate. One brother wants to continue to live in her house and sell it down the road instead of selling it now and splitting the proceeds. I want to sell it now. Will the probate judge decide which? Can probate close and settle if we... Read more »

John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Apr 16, 2020

Normally cash is needed to close (end) probate. That is cash for attorney fees, executor fees, court costs. So probate can't close without selling the house unless someone puts in cash. I would come up with a distribution agreement and have everybody sign off. Good luck.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My sister and I are beneficiaries in my dad's life insurance. She had all his property and won't let me get his paperwok

I need his paperwork to get started on seeing what dents he has and so I can get his life insurance to the funeral home.

David Ostrove
David Ostrove answered on Apr 11, 2020

You are both beneficiaries so you both own the life insurance proceeds. Equally!

You should cooperate with each other with respect to the life insurance policy and its proceeds. Sometimes, in life insurance cases like yours, you need to file a petition in court to sort out any disputes....
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for California on
Q: If I am not on probation but my roommate is, can they search my safe that I only have access too
Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow answered on Apr 6, 2020

more info needed.

it is like asking how you could get CV19 if you didn't go out of the house? someone would have to evaluate what came into your home etc.

how would the police know it was yours? did they find anything illegal?

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: How long does a representative have to distribute funds to the heirs after probate is finished?

Probate court finished in January. The case is in Phoenix AZ

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Mar 31, 2020

Your question landing in the California section. You need to ask it again in the Arizona section.

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4 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Can I just do a notorized letter instead of a will in leaving my house to my child and the deed is in my name?
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Mar 30, 2020

No, you can not. If you do not want to use a will or trust, you can use a deed. All of these methods require strict adherence to the correct form, although they are not necessarily complicated.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Probate for California on
Q: Is a guardianship of my son valid if I (biological mother) was never notified of a court hearing? Tricked by CPS!!!

Bullied by cps to sign temp guardianship to my ex mother in law over DV where I'm the victim. Permanent ruling without my knowledge and NO VISITATION. I was a damn good mother, but CPS refused to speak to me or even look at documented proof on my behalf. No drug test given and not abusive to... Read more »

Stephen Peter Anderson
Stephen Peter Anderson answered on Mar 30, 2020

see the local probate court facilitator

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My grandmother passed away over a year ago and my mother didn't put the estate through probate and she recently passed

My grandma's will says if her children are deceased the home goes to her grandchildren but my mom's husband is tying to take the house. My mom never put the house in her name... will me and my siblings inherit the home or does he have rights?

John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Mar 28, 2020

Assuming there is no trust then a probate of some variety is required (depends if value more or less than $166,250 in value) for grandmas estate. That would put the house into moms name. Then moms probate would be required and it depends on if she had a will. If mom had no will I would say the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Can an executor of a will in Calif. be allowed to withhold the will from the deceased person's children for 1 year?

..A Father dies in Calif. and leaves a will . He names his current wife (who is also the stepmother of his two children) the executor. She claims that the will doesn't have to go thru probate because he didn't have anything. Is there anyway that she can legally withhold the will from... Read more »

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Mar 26, 2020

California law requires anyone who holds the original Will of a deceased person to file the Will with the court clerk of the County where the decedent resided. A copy must also be mailed to the Executor named in the Will, or to a beneficiary if the Executor’s whereabouts are unknown. The relevant... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate, Contracts and Civil Litigation for California on
Q: I need a attorney that’s willing to take a probate case as on pro bono or a contingency of 50/50 split

My mother died and I gave the will to my father who did not lodge it. He had me sign a contract that if I take action that he will stop my monthly stipend my mother set up before she died. After signing the contact I found that she had a trust but he nor the trust attorney will give me copies of.... Read more »

Naomi Stal
Naomi Stal answered on Mar 22, 2020

You probably need to clarify what you are hiring an attorney to do on your behalf. If you are claiming a right as a beneficiary in her trust then there were/are steps the Trustee of the trust had to take, including sending you some notices after your mom died as well as a copy of the trust. An... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My mother in law died and left my husband and I over $200k. She didn’t put my name on the account.

Before passing, she showed me how to access the account and that she was glad it would help us. My husband didn’t know about the account value until I told him about it after she died. His grief pushed him over the edge, he got a girlfriend and left me after obtaining this account. Divorce has... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Mar 20, 2020

If she never put your name on the account and never left it to you in a Will or Trust, then it belongs to him and him alone. Any inheritance like that is Separate Property and not Community Property, so you do not have any rights to it.

Sorry.

But if you are hiring a divorce...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My wife died,her exhusband was notified his mortician friend listed her as single and their son next of kin. What do

She died out of state so mortuary in new mexico took ca mortuaries word (which was exhusbands friend and knew she was married) that she was not married they cremated her against her wishes held services and then contacted me

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow answered on Mar 16, 2020

MORE FACTS NEEDED.

THE LEAST I WOULD DO IF I COULD NOT AFFORD A LAWYER WOULD BE TO SUE IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT.

SUE WHERE YOU LIVE AND LET THEM ARGUE OVER JURISDICTION. IF SHE LIVED WITH YOU I THINK YOU WOULD HAVE JURISDICTION.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: How do I get a copy of my dad's will. My aunt has not gave me any info. I've ask numerous of times.

I am my dad's only daughter I have one brother. My dad was a cardiovascular surgeon and my aunt tells me that he didn't ha e nothing g

David Ostrove
David Ostrove answered on Mar 13, 2020

You are entitled to a copy of your Dad's will. You are an heir at law. You should request a copy in writing If refused and you want a copy, you may need to engage a lawyer who knows probate and trust law in CA.

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