What Happens in California Probate if you Pass Away Without a Will?

Even if you don’t think you have enough property or assets for it to be worthwhile to craft a Last Will and Testament, you might be persuaded differently if you understood how complicated it can get for your loved ones. After you pass away, your estate will be at the mercy of the probate courts to divide up your property. These courts are generally bound by California’s intestate succession laws in deciding who your Read More

An Overview of Appealing a Probate Court Decision California

Probate court is the venue in which a decedent’s estate is settled and the Last Will and Testament is verified and executed. Once all probate obligations are satisfied, benefits and inheritances are distributed to the beneficiaries. Some estate-planning documents may preclude a decedent’s estate from having to pass through probate court, such as a Trust.  If you do have to deal with the state probate system in Read More

Overview of Probate Process

Probate court is where you will likely find yourself (and other family members) if a loved one has recently passed away and left behind any property or assets. Hopefully, he or she addressed their wishes on how they want their estate to be distributed to their heirs (sometimes called beneficiaries) in a Last Will and Testament. If they did, then probate will be pretty quick and simple; the document only needs to be Read More

Do You Have a Plan for Your Digital Assets?

In 2019, it was estimated that 69 percent of all U.S. adults either have a Facebook account or have visited the social media site at least once. More than half, 51 percent, said they visit multiple times per day. With this explosion in social media use among middle-aged and elderly people, more estate plans are including digital assets.  What are Digital Assets? Digital assets are, essentially, any multimedia Read More

How Is Incapacity Determined?

When an individual is incapacitated, it can trigger a number of legal actions and agreements. If someone has a living Will, medical power of attorney, or financial power of attorney, they often come into play when an individual’s mental capacities are limited. This leads to an important question, though: how is incapacity determined? Identifying a Deficiency Legally, incapacity refers to an individual’s Read More

Understanding Your Rights as a Beneficiary in California

If you’ve been named the beneficiary of a decedent’s assets in California, you have certain rights that the trustee or executor must follow. If the decedent had a Will but no trust, the estate must go through probate before you can access your portion of the estate. However, if the decedent placed their assets in a trust and named a trustee prior to their death, the process is often much shorter. Annual Accounting Read More

An Introduction to California Probate

If a loved one has passed recently or you’ve been involved in their estate planning, you’ve likely heard about the probate process. Probate is how the court validates the Will and ensures that the right people get the decedent’s assets. It also ensures that all necessary debts are paid before assets are distributed. If you’ve been named executor, knowing what to expect from the California probate process can help you Read More

Guardianships Explained

A guardian acts as a surrogate decision-maker who determines personal and financial decisions for a minor who is incapacitated, has lost his or her parents, or is dealing with mental or physical disabilities. The guardian is appointed by a judge, and the person the guardian is responsible for is a ward of the court. When is a guardian needed? A minor whose parents have died or is incapacitated requires a Read More

Understanding the Difference Between General and Limited Conservatorships

Conservatorships are a safe way to provide for the needs of adults who are unable to care for themselves in one or multiple ways. In California, two types of conservatorships are recognized: general and limited. There are significant differences, so it’s important to figure out which option is best suited to your unique situation. What Is a General Conservatorship? General conservatorships are often used for Read More

Care for Your Disabled Loved Ones with a Special Needs Trust

Parents and family members of people with special needs have extra considerations to take into account while planning their estate. If an individual depends on Medi- Cal, SSI, or other public services for their daily needs, simply naming them as a beneficiary of an estate can cause them to lose their eligibility for these services. Creating a Special Needs Trust, also known as a Supplemental Needs Trust, can benefit Read More