California Estate Planning Questions & Answers

Q: Can HOA dues be collected after death?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Answered on May 15, 2019
Bruce Alexander Minnick's answer
If you do not want to keep your mother's land your plan to let it go will work just fine. Or she can sell it now.

Q: My mother passed she has multiple bank accounts but only one is joint account with my father.

2 Answers | Asked in Banking, Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Answered on May 14, 2019
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney's answer
When someone dies intestate (without a Will), then their property is divided per the statute.

The surviving spouse inherits all community property.

The spouse and children share the separate property of the deceased, with the surviving spouse getting at least one-third no matter how many children there are.

Community property is anything the couple earned or built together during the marriage.

Separate property is whatever assets they brought into the marriage,...

Q: Im going thru probate now (no will) and just remembered the property owned in Mexico. What to do about that?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Answered on May 13, 2019
John B. Palley's answer
I would contact an attorney in Mexico to determine what they will need. Being that there is no will they may not need anything from the California probate. I am not sure. Good luck. -John

Q: Four Morgan Stanley IRA accounts are listed in schedule "A", in a Trust.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Answered on May 6, 2019
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney's answer
That depends ...

First of all, you almost never want IRAs or 401Ks in a Trust. Those sorts of retirement plans have named beneficiaries so that the money automatically goes to the beneficiary upon the death of the owner. Having the IRAs in a Trust serves no purpose.

You could have a Trust as the beneficiary of an IRA but that would normally be a bad idea because the Trust has a much higher tax rate than people do, after about $13,000 of annual income. You could do it for a...

Q: Hi Mr.Pulley not sure if you remember me my name is Vikki Crawford it's an emergency please call me @ 209.302.2091.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Answered on May 4, 2019
Richard Samuel Price's answer
The best way for you to contact a specific attorney is to look up their contact information from the State Bar of California website: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/

You should contact him directly by phone or email.

Q: My sister took out a second mortgage out on my mom's house and at the time she had dementia ? Is,am I liable or is she

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Answered on Apr 30, 2019
Richard Samuel Price's answer
Your sister may have commited financial elder abuse and she may be required to either reimburse the estate or have the $400,000 in loans credtied towards her inheritance. Contact a local attorney for a full consultation.

Q: Will California deny a long term care application if asset money was properly gifted?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Health Care Law for California on
Answered on Apr 29, 2019
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney's answer
You CANNOT gift the money away or sell anything below fair market value without causing a penalty period for Medi-Cal to cover her nursing care bill. You can spend it but you cannot give it away.

You are not in any way liable for your aunt's care or her bills.

A nursing home can evict people but they will probably work with you if you are trying to get your Aunt onto Medi-Cal.

Q: RE: CA Probate Code 12003 - What is an acceptable interest rate?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Answered on Apr 25, 2019
John B. Palley's answer
I believe 7% is the statutory amount.

Q: After the courts approved everything why would the state of California ask for a check before we're able to use money

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Answered on Apr 22, 2019
Richard Samuel Price's answer
If there are any amounts owed to the State of California, such as for taxes, those amounts must be paid before any other debts are paid and any heirs to an estate receive their inheritance.

Q: I inherited about $100K from my great uncle when he passed away. My parents have always controlled the money.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Answered on Apr 22, 2019
William John Light's answer
By your own admission your parents spent the inheritance on private school and your college tuition. How can you say you have "never seen the money"? You got the money. It was invested in your education. Unless there is something left over, it sounds like your parents acted responsibly.

Q: What paper do l file to have my Granny's will put inprobate

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Answered on Apr 21, 2019
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney's answer
You need to go your county Probate Court's web site and they will give you very exact instructions.

There are three different levels of Probate process in California. Which level you use depends on what assets your grandmother left behind. If she left no real estate and only moderate assets, then you can probably get away with one of the abbreviated two levels. You will have to take a sharp pencil and add up what she left behind.

If her assets are high enough, or if there is...

Q: I want to ask probate judge to release some funds from blocked acct. but we dont have any bills to pay or people to pay.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Answered on Apr 18, 2019
Richard Samuel Price's answer
If this is a probate matter for a decedent's estate, then you can file a petition for a preliminary distribution of the estate, but if there are no bills to pay, then you should just file the final distribution.

If there is a blocked account, then you'll have to file the appropriate petition and order.

Call or email an attorney for a full consultation.

Q: Wat is IAEA powers & gettin bonded mean? I'm Admn.of estate and had previously asked how can i use money frm block acct?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Banking and Probate for California on
Answered on Apr 13, 2019
John B. Palley's answer
Generally speaking only people who have not planned end up with a blocked account and without full IAEA authority. I typically see this done by pro pers and by lawyers who don't know what they are doing. There are other situations but that's a generalization by me.

IAEA means the Independent Administration of Estates Act. Without FULL IAEA authority you need to go back to court to confirm the sale of real estate. This is hugely problematic as you can lose buyers in the process. Full...

Q: Do i need a reason or show probate judge why i need to withdraw funds frm block acct.,how long does this process take?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Answered on Apr 12, 2019
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney's answer
When you file the petition form to get funds from the blocked account, you have to fill in exactly who will be getting the money and the purpose of the payment.

How long it will take depends on your court and how backed up they are. Expect a few weeks at most.

Q: Do i need to get a court date just to ask probate court to release partial funds from block acct ?

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Answered on Apr 12, 2019
John B. Palley's answer
Honestly I would petition the court and ask to switch to IAEA powers, get bonded, and get rid of the blocked account. It will be easier to handle estate business including, eventually, selling the house. There is a judicial council form to make the switch to full IAEA powers. If you don't have one I would advise hiring attorney. Should make your life easier. -John

Q: Can you distribute property in an estate without resolving the debt when there's a will

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Answered on Apr 9, 2019
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney's answer
Yes you can, but it would be a very bad idea anyway you look at it. The executor would be personally liable for any debts or taxes if he gave away too many assets.

Normally it requires the assent of all the parties involved, so any one person can block it.

A final account and petition for distribution can be filed by the Personal Representative when there are sufficient funds available to pay all debts and taxes, the time for filing creditors' claims has expired, and the...

Q: Re:probate case when i file a Declaration can i also include what i want the court to do.Like exclude and release funds?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Answered on Apr 8, 2019
Richard Samuel Price's answer
No, a petition and an order to withdraw funds from a blocked account are separate forms. Use Judicial Counsel Forms MC-357 and MC-358 to request withdrawal of funds from a blocked account.

Q: Los Angeles probate case, I hired lawyer because I want to Object/ file 850.Lawyer never filed 850 but said he did....

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Federal Crimes and Probate for California on
Answered on Apr 3, 2019
Richard Samuel Price's answer
I'm sorry that you are going through this. You should have a sit-down discussion with your attorney to understand what has happened. If you don't get satisfactory answers, you can switch attorneys.

Q: How are property taxes reassessed if only half of the house is sold?

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Apr 3, 2019
Bruce Alexander Minnick's answer
Although I do not practice in California, unless I miss my guess the taxing authorities will continue assessing taxes on the entire piece of property because they are only interested in collecting the taxes and do not care who owns it. You might want to engage the services of a real estate lawyer in the county where the property is.

Q: My sister just filed our mothers probate paper work to become executor. Shouldn't me and my brother have been informed

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Answered on Apr 2, 2019
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney's answer
The Probate process begins with someone filing a Petition with the Probate Court, along with the Will if there is one. A court date is assigned 15 to 30 days out. The petitioner is required to give notice of ths to all heirs, beneficiaries, creditors and persons of interest so that they can object to the proceedings.

If she did not ever give you notice, you can go complain to the judge. If the hearing still has not happened, you can appear and make your objections.

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