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California Probate Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Am I required to hire a lawyer to discuss a last will and testament. from a lawyer oversees a will.

My name is in a will. My parents are deceased as of 2019. the Lawyer who executed the will. Response is I need a lawyer to discuss the will.

I am looking to have a lawyer represent me to discuss what is my inherited stake in a will.

James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 20, 2022

It's a good idea to find a local attorney to assist and advise you during this process. 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 »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: In CA, if I am both the probate administrator and only estate beneficiary, am I able to sign a waiver of final accountin
James R. Dickinson
James R. Dickinson
answered on Sep 20, 2022

Why do you not have an attorney assisting you with this process? Speak with one in your area. [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 »

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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: In matter of an intestate estate are the heirs required to sign a waiver if one heir applies to court to be

Personal Representative/Administrator?

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

Absolutely not! Options include (but are not limited to) backing the petitioner by nominating them; Objecting to the petition by providing reasons as to why the particular petitioner should not be appointed administrator; Filing a competing petition and nominating another person who may be a more... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I am filling out an affidavit for small estate in California. On line 7, the successor to the estate, whose name(s) ?

It is a life insurance policy. The Decedent owned the policy, I am the payee, my son is the insured. Whose name should by on line 7, as the successor (s) of the estate?

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Sep 13, 2022

In general, when an estate can settle through a small estate affidavit (as opposed to probate), the legal heirs are determined by Probate Code section 6400 et seq. However, life insurance policies name the beneficiary. Who is the named beneficiary? If there is a named beneficiary, then there is... Read more »

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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: State of California can a sole trustee be sole beneficiary?

The trust doesn’t state my daughter as sole beni

Beneficiary the trust was made to care for mysel I was in an accident. Her attorney now is saying if my daughter wanted to give me a dollar she could my daughters the only one benefiting from my moms trust and those were not my moms wishes

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Sep 8, 2022

Yes, most of the time, but there are some very important exceptions. More information is needed to answer your question.

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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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: Found a promissory note signed by my mother in-law regarding the family property in Hemet California.

My mother in-law passed away a few years ago. She and her husband (step-father to my husband) resided in the property that originally belonged to her parents. We just uncovered a promissory note regarding the family wishes that the property remain in the "family" should she pass away... Read more »

James L. Arrasmith
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James L. Arrasmith PRO label
answered on Sep 4, 2022

Likely not. First, this promissory note would have to be either handwritten or properly drafted as a Will -- e.g., have two disinterested witnesses.

Second, a statement of intention is usually not a valid testamentary disposition. The language has to generally be more clear.

Third,...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Can a Succ. trustee, who is also a beneficiary, file an objection to the trust and still serve as trustee?

If so would they need a separate attorney or would the trust attorney do it for them.

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Sep 4, 2022

A Trustee is duty bound to administer the trust as it is written, just like an Executor is obligated to administer a Will as written. The Trustee or Executor may petition a court for instructions if there is something about the trust or will that is unclear, but if he wants to challenge a trust or... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Native American Law and Probate for California on
Q: What is the appropriate form and proper filing method of a motion in CA?

Deterring from the use of a blank pleading page, what other forms are there?

James L. Arrasmith
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James L. Arrasmith PRO label
answered on Aug 30, 2022

You need a notice of motion, motion, and sometimes a memorandum of points and authorities. You also need to serve it on the opposing side and reserve a hearing date. You would also sometimes want to draft a proposed order. You would also make sure that it is used on pleading paper.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for California on
Q: can ex wife receive $$ from deceased ex husband if that husband has remarried

Can ex wife collect any inheritance from deceased ex husband if husband has remarried?

James L. Arrasmith
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James L. Arrasmith PRO label
answered on Aug 30, 2022

Yes, depending upon the estate plan set up. Anybody can inherit anything with the proper estate plan. That said, the preference of intestate succession changes upon dissolution of marriage.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: How can i go about claiming my deceaced father inheritance if im the next of kin
John B. Palley
John B. Palley
answered on Aug 23, 2022

I am sorry for your loss. To claim an inheritance the procedures are different depending on who has the asset, what kind of asset and how title is held among other questions. I encourage you to contact a focused California probate attorney for more info. Good luck.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for California on
Q: I missed the deadline to file an objection to my brother’s petition, what can I do now?

My brother is the Trustee of my Grandparents‘s Trust. I have had been asking him to tell me the deadline and the date of the hearing but I didn’t get the information from him and today he emailed me saying the deadline was yesterday.

Is there a way I can file my objection still?... Read more »

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi
answered on Aug 21, 2022

You can file your response late, along with your declaration stating that you were not notified of the deadline until after it passed. If you are unsure how to do this, you can look for the legal aid clinic for the bar association located in your county, then go there asap to get the help you need.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for California on
Q: if 1 sibling has P.O.A. over mom with 6 properties and is neglecting the props. might lose prop. what can i do?

3 siblings 1 has power of attorney me and my sister do not. Me and my sister are afraid the third sibling is running the properties into the ground. Taking sec. mortgages out on them. Is there anything we can do to get the properties or split them up? So we don't lose them? Can we do any of... Read more »

James L. Arrasmith
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James L. Arrasmith PRO label
answered on Aug 16, 2022

Yes, the power of attorney generally contains fiduciary duties. You can make sure that those fiduciary duties are being carried out. If not, he may be removed as the attorney for business decisions.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: So if I get a letter from a formal lawyer beneficiary probate lawyer stating want court to issue a citation to revoke me

My family is having me removed as administrator of estate and suing me because our formal lawyers didn't fulfill their duties on a probate case.

James L. Arrasmith
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James L. Arrasmith PRO label
answered on Aug 14, 2022

You may have a case for legal malpractice if the former lawyer did not fulfill his or her duties in the underlying probate case.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My brother a California Resident passed and spouse claimed she could not locate his Will. I was informed she was

filing intestate. 4 months later, I was surprised when I was informed that I was the named executor in the Will and was asked to decline. I got copy of Will from her lawyer and I immediately filed as executor. Wife of 10 months petitioned based on me being dilatory and judge granted her executor.... Read more »

Adam T. Carralejo
Adam T. Carralejo
answered on Aug 12, 2022

This isn't a bad thing. Now, as executrix, she has all the obligations to you with the Court supervising. One question is whether she got authority to administer the estate under the Independent Administrator of Estate Act (full or limited). This allows her more authority to administer the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: In an A/B trust, can the surviving spouse draw from the principal balance of the Bypass Trust?

Bypass trust states that trust income is payable to surviving spouse, but does not mention principal. Bypass trust was funded with 81% of a property. The property was sold and funds placed in a brokerage account. The brokerage account is now at about half the value of the original allocation. Can... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Aug 9, 2022

It is not possible to answer your question without reading the trust. They are not all the same. You should schedule a consultation with a trust administration attorney.

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