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California Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: My disabled mom just passed away and her siblings want to sell her house there was no will can they do that?

All i know was the house was my great grandma's and when she passed her money and house was supposed to get split between six grandchildren because her daughter had passed already. I was twelve at the time and living with my mom in the house when my aunts thought since my mom was disabled it... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King answered on Jan 18, 2021

To answer your questions properly, a lawyer would need to know: (1) Did your great grandmother have a trust or will; and (2) How is the house titled, i.e., joint tenancy, tenants in common, etc. Here’s why that information is important.

(A) All transfers of real estate and promises of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Court postponed the first hearing my brother's probate. What is the proper form to give notice of postponement?

The court notice requested we inform omitted parties.

John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Jan 17, 2021

Typically you do not have to give continued notice as long as you gave proper notice to the first hearing. If you aren't sure then just give notice of petition for probate. Good luck! -John

P.S. You might hire an experienced probate attorney to make sure your life easier.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: What court order is needed to access my missing brothers house?
John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Jan 17, 2021

If you think he is still alive then a petition for a temporary conservatorship might work. If you have to reason to think he is dead then a petition for special administration in probate might work. Hard to know based on the facts given. Best of luck finding him and I hope all works out fine!... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Once you hire a probate attorney do you have to give them the account number of an estate bank account?

Properties are being sold for the estate and the attorney wants the bank account number.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 14, 2021

You should provide to the attorney not only the bank account number but copies of all bank statements and all checks written. You should also advise the attorney regarding all properties sold and the disposition of the proceeds.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Nursing Home Abuse for California on
Q: Who do I contact if the probate trust attorney and the trustee will not answer or return my calls?

Also my mom was in a nursing home when she contracted covid-19. She died from complications of covid 11/14/20. They were under stay at home orders so no visitors were allowed. An employee brought covid into the nursing home. What are my options in sueing this nursing home.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 13, 2021

The trustee and his or her attorney most likely are not returning your calls because they do not represent YOU. YOU need to hire a trust administration attorney to represent YOU. It could be that you simply don't know the right questions to ask and what information you are entitled to. A... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: Grandma stole boyfriend's house her name appeared on the deed 4 years later. What to do do?

No will but everyone knew he wanted the house to go to his son. No will and no probate

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 13, 2021

There are too many missing facts to answer this question. Take a copy of the current deed to the house and the last two deeds before that and a copy of a death certificate for your boyfriend to an attorney that practices both probate and real estate litigation.

4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: Hello, my question is about how I might be affected by Prop 19 in Southern California.

My parents have passed on this last August and my sister is now the trustor. If I were to buy her out and take ownership of the house prior to February 15, 2021 would I qualify for a reassessment exclusion? It would not be our primary residence.

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Jan 8, 2021

you need to speak to a trust administration attorney. if your parents already passed, the trust itself governs the transfer of properties and given your stated dates, you may not be subject to prop 19 but you need to speak to an attorney regarding the specifics to know your options.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Is power of attorney all that's needed to get access to deceased mothers bank account

My mother recently passed away. I have a will and a power of attorney signed by my mother. I am her sole survivor. The bank will not allow me to access her bank account saying that I need to go to the county and get a small estate affidavit and/or appointment papers as the... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jan 2, 2021

Sorry for your loss. A power of attorney expires when the person who gave it dies. So, you can not use the power of attorney to access the bank account. You can use a small estate affidavit if the estate is small enough, but it is not something the County will provide for you. Otherwise, you... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: How do you find out if I have the latest will or if a new one was written.
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 28, 2020

There is no tried and true method other than good old fashioned detective work. Search the house. Search files. Ask friends and family. Call the attorney who prepared the will you did find. Call other estate planning attorneys in the area. Check with the local probate court to see if a will has... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Elder Law and Probate for California on
Q: my siblings took my dad and grandma to the lawyer office to change their will to a living trust

I'm a abused beneficiary my siblings won't show me my dad and grandma accounting I believe they're are stealing from my dad and grandma they change their mailing address to a p.o box I've believe my grandma and dad been abused physically and mentally.

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Dec 27, 2020

You can report your observations and suspicions to Adult Protective Services in the counties in which your grandma and dad reside. They will conduct an investigation.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Probate for grandfather closed. Found more assets. Can we get a small estate affidavit to claim assets of 50,000?
Bill Sweeney
Bill Sweeney answered on Dec 23, 2020

The final order for distribution of the estate may contain a provision that states that any later-found assets are to be distributed without requiring a further order from the court. That provision is common in final orders. If that is not the case you will likely need to seek assistance from the... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I am trying to find a Probate attorney. Unfortunately my boyfriend left a holographic will that names me as executor.

Because he listed so many beneficiaries I am running into a problem finding someone who will take it. What happens then?

John B. Palley
John B. Palley answered on Dec 23, 2020

If there are assets, and the will is valid, someone will take it I would think. You should lodge the will in the probate court of the county he resided at death. Happy to chat with you if you contact me. Good luck. -John

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My best friend of 13 years became I'll leaving a note that he has no other will leaving his interest in property to me.

Is that valid

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 22, 2020

Your recitation of facts is ambiguous. You should have the note reviewed by a probate Atorney. It might qualify as a holographic will if it is al in the decedent’s handwriting.

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Probate for California on
Q: Mom bought house for me said it was my early inheritance then sold it gave proceeds to my kid left me homeless at 64???

Lived in house 11 years when daughter lured me to Florida with promise to take care of me and I would be a grandma. Only her and mom had access to funds from sale of my said home. A delapidated Mobil home on 9 acres, with no drinking water was bought for me to live in. I was abandon after being... Read more »

Theodore Allan Greene
Theodore Allan Greene answered on Dec 20, 2020

You should talk to a probate attorney if your mom has passed and your daughter is executor of the will. It's hard to tell exactly what is going on but try to sit down with an attorney for a consultation where you can go over everything in detail.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: What are the rights of a possible heir who was raised as own from young age but deceased never tried to legally adopt?

My oldest brother was raised by our father as his own from the age of 4, but my father never tried to legally adopt him. He is now an adult and I am wondering what legal rights he has to the inheritance since my father died without a will? We live in California, and my oldest brother has stolen... Read more »

Bill Sweeney
Bill Sweeney answered on Dec 4, 2020

You might find an answer from this article: https://keystone-law.com/equitable-vs-statutory-adoption/

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: What is my financial responsibility and liability on an inherited house? Trying to avoid a partition action.

California. I am due to inherit my mother's house along with my siblings. There are issues with the other siblings not paying for housing expenses and I been taking up the slack. I have requested mediation to come up with a co ownership agreement to distribute responsibilities or to be bought... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Dec 2, 2020

If there is no agreement by the owners regarding payments or selling the property, than partition is the appropriate action to take. It will either force a sale of the property or a buy out of the party asking for a partition.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My mother pass away 4/11/2020. It is now 11/30/2020 and no deed to my home

Daughter is executor. I don't have a lawyer. Daughter has asked me 4 times to put the deed in her name so she can buy property in Tennessee. Transfer of deed daughter states has to go into her name then to me the beneficiary and not directly to me.

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Dec 1, 2020

This does not sound right. If the estate is in probate, and your daughter has been appointed executor, then the court process will have to be followed, and the property will pass according to the will. If the property is in trust, and your daughter is the successor trustee, the transfer should... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: How do I know if I'm suppose to get money from my grandpa passing

Daniel kaher resided in Pacifica ca. Died in same he had money that I thought was to go to me and my brother and my 2 aunts

Martha Bronson
Martha Bronson answered on Nov 28, 2020

You would know because the requires the administrator give you notice of the fact that you are a beneficiary, unless no one has your current address. I would suggest that you contact the county of death and check the court's case index to see if a case has been opened. Best of Luck.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I sold my dad's house he left me and all the paperwork been done can I go to court early an ask the judge for the money
Genene N. Dunn
Genene N. Dunn answered on Nov 19, 2020

If the estate has cash, it is possible under the probate code to file an ex parte petition to do a preliminary distribution of up to 50% of the estate. But eventually you will have to do your accounting and petition for final distribution to be able to distribute everything.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Litigation and Probate for California on
Q: Living trust amendment not signed before death but...Dad gave power to amend to trustee ???

15401. (a) A trust that is revocable by the settlor or any other person may be revoked in whole or in part by any of the following methods:

(1) By compliance with any method of revocation provided in the trust instrument.

(2) By a writing, other than a will, signed by the settlor or... Read more »

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Nov 13, 2020

If a trust amendment has not been signed by the trustor or an agent acting on behalf of the trustor under a power of attorney before the death of the trustor, it is ineffective.

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