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estate litigation Archives

Understanding no-contest clauses

You may often be placed in a precarious position when you are party to the estate of a loved one in San Jose. If, for example, the terms of your family member or friend’s will are not what you anticipated (and you choose to challenge them), many might write off your actions as you simply being petty. Yet there may indeed be a number of valid reasons for you to challenge the terms of a will (such as the decedent promising you a certain asset or property during their life, yet that stipulation not being in their will). Many in your same position have come to us here at Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann LLP concerned that such a challenge will automatically invoke a will’s no-contest clause. 

Requirements for a valid will

Many California residents have an estate plan to ensure their belongings go to their family, friends and charities after they die. If you have a loved one who changed their will frequently, or shortly before they passed away, it may be unclear if the document reflects his or her wishes. At Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP we often assist clients who dispute the validity of a will.

Detailing your rights to temporary possession

Most in San Jose likely believe that they will have years to plan for their estates. Yet what happens if your spouse dies unexpectedly while still relatively young? Even in the event that you had both planned ahead and created estate planning documents, it is likely that you still have outstanding debts that those who pass on in their elder years might not have to deal with. You might be facing the potential of having to liquidate assets in order to settle your spouse's liabilities. Many in your same position come to us here at Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP wondering if that means selling their homes. 

What is a probate referee?

The estate administration process in San Jose can often become contentious. While you and all others who are party to an estate may start out with the stated intention of avoiding discord, you may be surprised at how quickly it can arise when people fear that their interests may be affected. One area that many may disagree over is in the valuation of an estate's assets. If you have been asked to serve as the executor of an estate, then you may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to come up with an accurate appraisal on your own. Fortunately, you do not have to; the state will typically assign a probate referee to handle that task. 

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