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California Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: in California is it true that all assets get split equally between the beneficiaries without a will?

a parent recently passed away unexpectedly and they never got around to updating their pension, retirement accounts or will. The Will that we had was “dismissed” so that all of the children get equal shares however nothing was said about his pension which (because it was created so long ago)... Read more »

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

I think you are saying that the parent only named one child as beneficiary of his retirement account. If that is so, then that is a binding decision on the part of the parent.

4 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My mother-in-law recently passed away aren’t gifts she received during life her personal property?

Now the kids are asking for what they gave her back my husband is successor trustee I told him the items belong to her and that if nothing is identified to go back to any specific person, that they will have to follow what the trust says in order to disburse it

John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Feb 26, 2020

Anything given to her belonged to her and not the givers of the gifts. Their rights ended when they gave the item to her. It’s a common misconception we see. Hopefully the will or trust provide instructions for distribution. Your husband should hire an attorney to advise him. Good luck. -John Palley

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: THE ONLINE RECORD SAYS "PETITION GRANTED" . DOES THAT MEAN THAT JUDGE HAS SIGNED THE PETITION?
John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Feb 25, 2020

That means the Judge orally said it was approved. The Court order needs to be submitted and signed still. Usually whoever filed the petition will then file the order to be signed by the Judge. In almost all instances the written order is important so needs to get done. Good luck.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Can I file probate from California for my mom or does it have to be in Florida where she passed she has belongings here

There is 2 storage units here in ca with the contents of my moms house her bank account was moved to florida 3 yrs ago when my sister with power of attorney took her along with proceeds of the home being sold and my dads large coin collection. Do I have to be in person if florida to file probate or... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 20, 2020

You can probably collect the contents of the storage units, if that is all she has in California, with a small estate affidavit. For the assets in California, you need to consult a Florida probate attorney.

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Have a question about probate

My parents died without a will they had a house in their name children was just me and my brother he just passed. We started probate but didn't get to complete it and put house in mine and my brothers name yet. He is survived by a wife he hasn't been with for 15 years and 2 children? He had no... Read more »

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Feb 20, 2020

Since he survived your parents, his share will most likely go to his estate. It should not affect your parents' probate as you will distribute to his estate rather than him. However, someone will need to open probate for his estate to be able to receive the inheritance from your parents' probate.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: I want to add a beneficiary on the title of my manufactured home in California. The home is in a rented space.

I found form HCD 488.4 but not sure how to submit it. Do I just fill it out and mail it to the Dept of Housing Registration and Titling Program?

John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Feb 19, 2020

I am sorry I missed your question before. Yes, you would fill out the form which creates the transfer on death beneficiary. Since your mobile is on a rented spot that really should be all you need though I would probably give a copy to the mobile home community manager to put in your file also.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: What is the statue of limitations to petition Probate?
John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Feb 19, 2020

There isn't really a statute of limitations for filing for probate in California. I have filed cases, for clients 20 years after the death occurred. However, if you have a will you are supposed to lodge it within 30 days and, in theory, there could be penalties for failing to do that although I... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: How to know if a probate and willl are reall

I have the both copys of the will and the probate and the bank can some one help me

Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Feb 18, 2020

If you are talking about probate forms needed for the bank to approve, then you most likely need a certified copy of your letters. It depends what you are trying to do.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My stepmother was the sole beneficiary of my father’s estate and was appointed personal representative so she gets it

And I get nothing? As it went to probate and I received a letter because I’m an heir?

John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Feb 18, 2020

Step-mother may or may not be entitled to everything. Each case is different. Depends on if there is a will or not. If no will then it depends on if community property or separate property. A child is entitled to notice either way so it is possible you are entitled to no assets. Impossible to know... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Can a personal representative appointed to an estate do what they want with the estate being left to him or her?
John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Feb 18, 2020

Generally not. There are specific rules which govern how a personal representative should act. Most things require court approval either before doing them or confirmation after the fact. To those requiring confirmation after the fact there is a specific way things are to be done. For example, if... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Nursing Home Abuse and Probate for California on
Q: A 24-hour facility hurt my grandparent. Please restore justice and protect my grandparent ASAP.
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 16, 2020

There are attorneys who specialize in nursing home litigation. That is what you should be seeking. If that is not a category, then you can find one doing a search on DuckDuckGo.com (which doesn't track you the way g***le does).

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Do I need to open a separate bank account, with its own tax ID number, to deposit income owed to my mother’s estate?

My mother, a California resident, passed away recently and named me Executor in her Will. My brother, sister, and I all get 1/3rd per the Will. The value of the estate is less than $25,000. I started receiving several small-dollar checks in my mother’s name (not sure what to do with them), and... Read more »

David Ostrove
David Ostrove answered on Feb 16, 2020

NO. Use a separate account for all of your mother's money, so you can account for it (every penny) this is money which you hold as a fiduciary.

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Probate and Estate Planning for California on
Q: My Lola's (grandma's) youngest son claims to have POA, will not allow my Lola and me to be together, Please reunite us.

POA is not Conservatorship, they are abusing POA. My Lola is my Valentine every single day, to keep us apart is cruel. When she asks for me and they don't allow me to see her, that is cruel and elder abuse. I used to be my Lola's 24/7 live-in care provider since her kids and grandkids are deadbeats... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Feb 16, 2020

If you think she is being abused then you need to report this to Adult Protective Services in your County.

If you want to fix the problem of her being isolated from you, then you can ask for a Restraining Order for Elder Abuse. Isolating the elder from loved ones is considered abuse under...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Legal Malpractice, Libel & Slander and Probate for California on
Q: Can a defendant sue a plaintiff, her attorney & their witness for using perjured facts from a prior harassment case?

Can a defendant sue in a probate case if the complaint is based on Known libelous statements that was proven to be libelous in an unrelated harassment order case where the defendant in the current probate case was the plaintiff & the witness for the plaintiff in the current probate case was the... Read more »

Joseph Franklin Klatt
Joseph Franklin Klatt answered on Feb 15, 2020

The standards are different for restraining orders than they are in a civil probate matter. When in doubt in a restraining order situation, the Court errs on the side of caution and grants the restraining order. In a civil matter, you have to prove more likely than not you are correct, and are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My brother died w/o a will, no wife, no kids, 4 siblings. Can I close his bank account & divide $ betw us 4?

My brother owned no property, just a car, personal stuff and a bank account of less than $50k Of the 4 siblings, 3 of us agree that I close the account & divide among the 4 The 4th wants control & we 3 don’t trust him, as he has already appropriated all the deceased’s things. Do I need all... Read more »

John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Feb 14, 2020

Technically all heirs at law need to sign a small estate affidavit. However, I have seen some situations where the heirs sign an agreement for one to handle. That way the one that is handling is not lying when signing under the penalty of perjury. Good luck.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: How long can a bank hold my dead husband's saving account if there is no probate
John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Feb 13, 2020

It depends and, by the way, I am sorry for your loss. Typically, assuming his assets are under $166,250 you can get access after 40 days. If more than $166,250 then need to get a probate court order (either a spousal property petition or a full probate).

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1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury and Probate for California on
Q: How can I find a CA attorney who sues Counties for failure to notify collaterals of conservator hearings?

I lost contact with my brother ten years ago and searched for him ever since. I am just now learning he suffered a stroke and lost his memory. The County placed him in a Board & Care and established conservatorship but failed to take reasonable steps to notify me. They denied my right to step... Read more »

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow answered on Feb 12, 2020

more info needed.

i would google attorneys who litigate against governmental entities or something like that.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Is it a law in California that the executor of a trust must account for a beneficiaries portion to said beneficiary?

if my aunt is executor of my mom's will, does she have to account for my portion of the trust, or money when i ask for it? is it the law?

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Feb 10, 2020

Absent a written waiver of theIr right to a formal account, all beneficiaries entitled to either income and/or principal of an estate are entitled to a formal account prior to distribution.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Do the object/consent signatures on the Notice of Proposed Action forms need to be notarized?

I have been granted full authority to administer my mother’s estate without court supervision under the California Independent Administration of Estates Act. I need to sell a small plot of land prior to final distribution of the estate. Do the object/consent signatures on the Notice of Proposed... Read more »

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Feb 10, 2020

No. There’s no requirement to notarize signatures on the NOPA forms.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Is the waiver of bond necessary when there is only 1 beneficiary?

I am the only living heir and there is no will. I have petitioned to administer estate.

Bill Sweeney
Bill Sweeney answered on Feb 10, 2020

You should refer to the information contained on the applicable form: DE-142/DE-111(A-3e); Waiver of Bond by Heir or Beneficiary (Probate - Decedents Estates). The form can be found online.

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