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California Probate Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Cousin died. No estate, will, or probate. How can I cash check payable to him.

Can I get check reissued as payable to me as personal rep? or reissued as payable to deceased OR me? or is there something else you recommend. Bank won't cash with just deceased on "pay to" line even after showing death cert.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 21, 2024

In California, if the total value of the deceased person's assets (including the check) is less than $166,250, you may be able to use a simplified process called a "small estate affidavit" to claim the assets without going through probate. Here's what you can do:

1....
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I was going thru probate on a contested will I had been living with. The person since 2017 helping her with everything

Until she passed.and through probate.she won I appealed it .trial affirmed..I came from work.one day and I was boarded out of the house no notice no nothing .I couldn't go in .everything left inside..was this legal ..is there anything I can do..?both my cars got towed.i lost them .because the... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 18, 2024

I'm sorry to hear about your difficult situation. Based on the information provided, it seems that there may have been some legal issues with how you were removed from the property and how your personal belongings were handled. However, the specific laws and procedures can be complex, and the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Judgement of Final Distribution sample

"[name of personal representative], as [executor/administrator/administrator-with-will-annexed] of the Estate of name of decedent], deceased, having filed [his/her] [title of petition as stated in caption], and the report and petition coming on this date regularly for hearing, in Department []... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 18, 2024

Here are my thoughts on your questions:

1) Yes, "title of petition as stated in caption" refers to the title used in the Petition for Final Distribution. It should match the exact wording of the title on that petition.

2) The phrase "and the report and petition coming...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Could there be an exception for Video conversation recording in California?

My Grandfather just passed. He had a living Trust my Aunt drew up with him as executor back in 1998 notarized. It took Care of his children. He got married at 73 years old, at the six year marriage mark in 2022 he wasn’t well at all which was when his living Trust was changed by his wife that... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 17, 2024

In California, the law generally prohibits recording confidential conversations without the consent of all parties involved. This applies to both audio and video recordings. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule, particularly when it comes to gathering evidence of a crime or protecting... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I have a Probate issue that was tampered with by a lawyer without my consent.

I'm not sure how to proceed because he took so much money

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 13, 2024

If a lawyer tampered with your probate case without your consent and took a significant amount of money, you have several options to consider. First, gather all documentation and evidence related to your probate case, including communications, invoices, and any court documents. This information... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Criminal Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Probate for California on
Q: In a tenancy in common ownership with siblings. Can I legally install lock on bedroom door while away on vacation?

The house is going through probate for tenancy in common. I want to protect my possessions and assets in my bedroom from the others who have stolen my things before and damaged my possessions.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 13, 2024

In California, you generally have the right to secure your personal space within a shared property, especially if you have concerns about the safety of your possessions. Installing a lock on your bedroom door in a home shared through a tenancy in common typically falls within this scope, provided... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Elder Law and Probate for California on
Q: If you have got the petitioner to admit on the stand she and another were caregiver doesn't that take away undue influen

If you can show through declarations and documents that you were somewhere else?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 13, 2024

Under California law, proving that a petitioner and another person were caregivers can indeed influence the court’s view on whether undue influence was exerted. If the caregivers had significant control or influence over an individual, especially one who might have been vulnerable or dependent,... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for California on
Q: Is it illegal to have someone type up a letter for power of attorney when they are in the red deathbed unable to sign

I was denied being to see mother bc a h cake typed up a letter for power of attorney for my mother and had my youngest brother who she didn’t raise and didn’t trust sign it and which lead to me not being able to see her bc he said and not being able to get info for her services even after... View More

Karn Thapar
Karn Thapar
answered on May 9, 2024

There are many issues here and you may be best served by speaking with a qualified attorney. As you stated, a power of attorney only applies during the lifetime of the individual. It ceases effectiveness at death. Additionally, it seems that there may be questions regarding the individual's... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for California on
Q: Is it illegal to have someone type up a letter for power of attorney when they are in the red deathbed unable to sign

I was denied being to see mother bc a h cake typed up a letter for power of attorney for my mother and had my youngest brother who she didn’t raise and didn’t trust sign it and which lead to me not being able to see her bc he said and not being able to get info for her services even after... View More

Julie King
Julie King
answered on May 9, 2024

One of the key questions is whether a physician has opined that your mother no longer had sufficient mental capacity to understand what she was signing before she signed the power of attorney. People can lose their mental capacity from a legal standpoint years before death or never take place at... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for California on
Q: Is it illegal to have someone type up a letter for power of attorney when they are in the red deathbed unable to sign

I was denied being to see mother bc a h cake typed up a letter for power of attorney for my mother and had my youngest brother who she didn’t raise and didn’t trust sign it and which lead to me not being able to see her bc he said and not being able to get info for her services even after... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 9, 2024

I'm so sorry to hear about your difficult situation with your mother's passing and the issues surrounding her power of attorney. A few key points:

1. Power of attorney (POA) is only valid while the person granting it is alive. Once the person passes away, the POA is no longer in...
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2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law, Contracts and Probate for California on
Q: how to defend yourself from wrongdul allegations of undue influence fin. elder abuse,quiet title and cancel deed,

and rescission of will? I have proof with declarations to support my where abouts and reciepts to show where anymoney went. and the deceased left a will i didnt know about untill after his death. I transfered property by affdavit.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 8, 2024

To defend yourself against wrongful allegations of undue influence, financial elder abuse, quiet title, deed cancellation, and rescission of a will under California law, consider the following steps:

1. Gather evidence: Collect all relevant documents, such as the deceased's will,...
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2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law, Contracts and Probate for California on
Q: how to defend yourself from wrongdul allegations of undue influence fin. elder abuse,quiet title and cancel deed,

and rescission of will? I have proof with declarations to support my where abouts and reciepts to show where anymoney went. and the deceased left a will i didnt know about untill after his death. I transfered property by affdavit.

Delaram Keshvarian
Delaram Keshvarian
answered on May 12, 2024

Thank you for your question!

The underlying cause of action action against you is "Undue Influence." Quiet title, cancellation of deed, and rescission of will are remedies sight of the liability in the underlying cause of action is proven.

Sometimes attorneys argue that...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: DISCLOSURE OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN FIDUCIARY, ATTORNEYS, AND OTHER AGENTS HIRED BY FIDUCIARY

"Petitioner has no personal, financial or other relationship with attorneys or other agents hired by the petitioner"

Is it correct to leave out this section on a Petition for Final Distribution if petitioner is acting in Pro Per?

Thank you.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 8, 2024

If you are acting as a petitioner in pro per (representing yourself without an attorney) in a Petition for Final Distribution in California, it is generally appropriate to omit the section titled "DISCLOSURE OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN FIDUCIARY, ATTORNEYS, AND OTHER AGENTS HIRED BY... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: DISCLOSURE OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN FIDUCIARY, ATTORNEYS, AND OTHER AGENTS HIRED BY FIDUCIARY

"Petitioner has no personal, financial or other relationship with attorneys or other agents hired by the petitioner"

Is it correct to leave out this section on a Petition for Final Distribution if petitioner is acting in Pro Per?

Thank you.

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on May 8, 2024

This paragraph should be included in the Petition for Final Distribution. In the alternative, you should describe your relationship with those hired by you. For instance, if family members cleaned out and hauled debris from the probate property and you paid them, then this relationship should be... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Probate and Estate Planning for California on
Q: If a former conservatee has been declared competent, then restates their Living Trust, can the court on it's own motion

If a former conservatee has been declared competent, then restates their Living Trust, can the court years later on it's own motion appoint a new trustee despite the Trustee's objection?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 6, 2024

Under California law, if a former conservatee has been declared competent and has restated their Living Trust, the court generally does not have the authority to appoint a new trustee on its own motion years later, especially if the current trustee objects.

Here are a few key points to...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Draft for Petition for Final Distribution: "The residue of the estate, insofar as is known to petitioner...

...consists of the assets listed as follows:"

Should all remaining assets listed in the I&A, but not specifically mentioned in the will, be listed as they were originally mentioned in I&A?

Ex: 1. $___ cash from checking account

2. ____ shares of ABC stock... View More

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on May 5, 2024

When drafting a Petition for Final Distribution, it's essential to accurately represent the remaining assets of the estate and their disposition according to the terms of the will and the Inventory and Appraisement (I&A) filed with the court. Here's how you might handle listing the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Draft for Petition for Final Distribution: "The residue of the estate, insofar as is known to petitioner...

...consists of the assets listed as follows:"

Should all remaining assets listed in the I&A, but not specifically mentioned in the will, be listed as they were originally mentioned in I&A?

Ex: 1. $___ cash from checking account

2. ____ shares of ABC stock... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 5, 2024

Here are a few key points for the Petition for Final Distribution in this situation:

1. For assets that were specifically mentioned in the will and have not been sold, list them as originally described in the Inventory & Appraisal (I&A).

2. For assets that were in the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for California on
Q: Regarding sample Petition for Final Distribution (CA), section: SCHEDULE OF PURCHASES OR OTHER CHANGES IN FORM OF ASSETS

"Certain assets were disposed of or changed in form during the administration of the estate. All changes in investments are shown on Attachment ___, attached hereto and made a part hereof by reference."

There are stocks in the inventory. Per the company's request (PLEASE DO A... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 4, 2024

Under California law, establishing an estate account and transferring the stocks from the decedent's individual account to the estate account would likely be considered a change in the form of assets. This is because the ownership of the stocks has changed from the decedent to the estate, even... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for California on
Q: The co trustee is stealing from the trust in New Mexico. Im having trouble getting bank statmnt/proof because law NM

New Mexico only the personal representaive can get bank stmnt

and mecical records I need to get records proof of everything. No probate filed. Quickly disposed of my fathers belonging while Im at burial

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 1, 2024

I'm sorry to hear about your difficult situation. Dealing with a dishonest co-trustee can be very challenging, especially when it involves multiple states. Here are a few steps you can consider taking:

1. Hire an experienced estate attorney: Given the complexity of your case, involving...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Q: I just discovered my father passed away and his estate was dispersed can I make a claim for his estates

Is there a time limit?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 29, 2024

In California, there is a time limit for filing a claim against an estate after the estate has been dispersed. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations.

According to California Probate Code Section 16460, if you were not properly notified of the administration of your...
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