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California Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: The title to my mothers home will soon be transferred into mine & my brothers name. I want to be done with having

anything to do with it . Can I ask that the home be sold and each take their share ?

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 27, 2022

It depends. Speak with a local attorney. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: If we had a revocable trust in California and then moved to Tualatin, Oregon to we have to make a new one ??
Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Sep 27, 2022

There is no law that compels you to make a new trust when you move to another state. However, it is highly advisable to have your entire estate plan (will, trust, powers of attorney, advance directives, etc.) reviewed by an experienced estate planning attorney in the new state. This is because... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Need help with claiming stocks

my mother who recently passed away has shares of stock thru compushare. I live in CA and she passed in oklahoma. Im not sure what to do to put these shares in my name. Not a large amount. The value is worth about 27k. Can you help in this area?

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Sep 26, 2022

A lawyer would need to know if your mom left a Will or Trust naming the beneficiary of the stock because, if she did, only the named person would be able to access the stock. Either way, you need to get a death certificate and complete the Compushare paperwork. Be sure to return the paperwork to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: what can I do about relative cosigner having removed late wife remaining bank funds during trust confirmation ?

My late wife and I made a living trust for marriage, listing our bank accounts & beneficiaries (kids)(6). After she died, my new attorney gave Notification by Trustee to all beneficiaries - full copy of trust included & notified of pending trust confirmation with Superior Court if they... Read more »

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 25, 2022

Sounds problematic. Speak with a local attorney handling trust/probate litigation. Good luck. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My parents established a trust for my siblings and myself, making us co-trustee and beneficiaries.

Does anything change when one of my parents pass? Can the remaining parent change anything?

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 25, 2022

It would depend on the terms of the trust, but generally the surviving spouse acts as trustee until his or her death, followed by a successor trustee. There can be multiple or co-trustees. Speak with a local attorney regarding your rights and responsibilities. [I litigate cases. Anything posted... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can a verbal lease agreement stand for a non-spouse of 30 years after the partner dies?

A man made a verbal commitment to his non-martial spouse of 30 years to allow her to live in his home that is willed to his daughter until she dies, free of charge. The daughter verbally agreed to this agreement with her father, but is now reneging. She is requiring the surviving non-marital spouse... Read more »

James L. Arrasmith
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James L. Arrasmith PRO label
answered on Sep 24, 2022

A good theory of law that would likely apply is what is called "equitable estoppel."

"The venerable doctrine of equitable estoppel or estoppel in pais, which rests firmly upon a foundation of conscience and fair dealing, [fn. omitted] finds its classical statement in the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My question is complicated but maybe easy but hopefully someone of you can help me out or give me advice I’ll really app

I am only allowed 1 “weekend”a month (1st weekend of every month) which is not even a full weekend just one night and couple hours next day. We don’t have set schedule never communicates the time off pick up and drop offs. I either pick up or drop her off we each do one of the other was an... Read more »

James L. Arrasmith
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James L. Arrasmith PRO label
answered on Sep 23, 2022

You can file a motion to modify custody and justify it by the facts that you presented here.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: planning to move out of california to another state - should I amend my existing living trust before or after ?
Julie King
Julie King
answered on Sep 22, 2022

You should have a lawyer in the state into which you are moving review the trust and any power of attorney you have, since those documents could require additional or different language to be added. It doesn't matter if you meet with the lawyer before or after you move if you are certain that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for California on
Q: My son had 1 years worth of 401k from employer when he passed away along with debt. As next of kin do I pay all bills?

California residents

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Sep 21, 2022

I am so sorry to hear about your son's passing. Did your son designate a beneficiary for his 401K? Was that his only asset? If so, the 401K should pass directly to his named beneficiary, and it would be difficult for creditors to levy that asset. Notice to the creditors of your son's... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If I have my name on the deed of the house and so does my grandma when my grandma passes away can my aunt take the home?
James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 20, 2022

It would depend on how the home was held. If a property is held in joint tenancy, the decedent's share passes to the surviving joint tenant. This is known as the right of survivorship. If owners of the property hold title as tenants in common, then the decedent's share would pass in... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: I am a beneficiary and successor co-trustee in a family trust. The other trustees are threatening to exclude me;

We are feeding and my sibs insist they can not give me my inheritance, if they choose not to. Can I prevent this?

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Sep 20, 2022

If the trust names you as a co-trustee and beneficiary, then the other trustees cannot exclude you. Trustees are obligated by law to follow the terms of the trust. If trustees ignore the trust and do whatever they so desire, they can be sued for breach of their duties. Tell your siblings that they... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: I am the last surviving member of my family, do I need to share my inheritance with my parents grandchildren?
Rebecca Sommer
Rebecca Sommer
answered on Sep 19, 2022

This question is a little confusing so I'll do my best to answer the different ways it could be interpreted.

If you're asking if you have to leave your own personal estate to your parents grandchildren, the answer is no. You can choose to leave your estate to whoever you want, but...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Shouldn't my brother be paying me rent since he is continuing to live in the house after my mom's death?

He has been living off her pension for 12 years and took over her finances. We had a will done in 2006 which was 50/50 between my brother and I and in 2020 my brother had my mom do a new will giving him 60 and me 40 making him the executor and hid it from me for two years. He is selling and... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Sep 18, 2022

Since your mom owned a home, I am going to assume the total value of all of your mother’s assets exceeds the probate limit. That means your brother or you MUST file a Petition in Probate Court in order to transfer title to the property from your mom to both of you, unless title to the home was in... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Is it possible to leave a house in a trust after the owner of the house passes (in California
Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Sep 16, 2022

From your questions, I'm assuming the property was properly funded into a valid trust prior to passing away. If so, I highly recommend reading the relevant trust document provisions to see if there is any particular directive regarding the disposition of this asset. Frankly, it's... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Is it possible to leave a house in a trust after the owner of the house passes (in California
Julie King
Julie King
answered on Sep 18, 2022

Once someone dies, the trust becomes unchangeable (irrevocable) simply because the “owner” of the trust is no longer around to change it as the person sees fit. If the trust in your case has an attachment (usually called Schedule “A”) that lists all the person’s assets and that attachment... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: If I was with someone for 13 yrs and he passed away we had animals together do. I HAVE ANY RIGHTS TO THEM.

We had nothing in writing just his verbal wishes

William John Light
William John Light
answered on Sep 14, 2022

If you jointly owned the animals, then you either still jointly own the animals with his Estate; or you continue to own your interest, and his interest passed to you upon his death.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Does a beneficiary have equity rights to insurance settlement proceeds received by the estate prior to grantors dea

In California a gift (a classic car) is granted via living trust, then is totally destroyed in a fire before the grantors death whereby a $39,000 insurance claim is paid to the grantor/estate. Subsequently the trust is not amended still reflecting the gift to the beneficiary at the grantors time... Read more »

Rebecca Sommer
Rebecca Sommer
answered on Sep 12, 2022

The outcome will depend on the language in the trust document providing the gift. Generally, if a specifically listed item is given to a specific person, if the item no longer exists at the time of the decedent's death, then the gift fails. For example, "To my niece MARY SMITH I give my... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Revocable Trust created in Florida, now is irrevocable trust, both beneficiary, trustee live in CA. Jurisdiction?

Revocable trust was created in Florida but has now become a irrevocable trust. Both the trustee with financial power of attorney and the beneficiary reside in California.What state has jurisdiction? The trustee has not contacted the beneficiary and has not responded to any emails, calls requesting... Read more »

James L. Arrasmith
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James L. Arrasmith PRO label
answered on Sep 7, 2022

Most likely California, where decedent died.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Revocable Trust created in Florida, now is irrevocable trust, both beneficiary, trustee live in CA. Jurisdiction?

Revocable trust was created in Florida but has now become a irrevocable trust. Both the trustee with financial power of attorney and the beneficiary reside in California.What state has jurisdiction? The trustee has not contacted the beneficiary and has not responded to any emails, calls requesting... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Sep 18, 2022

I would review the trust document in detail. Oftentimes, jurisdiction is may be dictated in the trust document. However, as a practical matter, since both the trustee and the beneficiary live in California, no one should object to California having jurisdiction.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Litigation and Probate for California on
Q: My grandma's died in 2015,I've lived in her home for7 years after her death and now some people came and told me to move

What do I do now .she also left me papers that are legalized saying the home is mine

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Sep 6, 2022

I'm surprised your grandmother's estate (her assets left behind) has not gone through the Probate Court by now. If your grandmother had a Trust stating her desires, then whatever your grandmother said in that document will control what happens to her property, and your family most likely... Read more »

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