Tag Archives: estate planning law firm

Who Can Contest a Will?

After a loved one dies, the essential grieving process can be soured by the late relative’s estate and how it will be divided among family. Cousin Albert can’t contest your late father’s will as easily as you might think, however. Depending on how the will was drafted and who was named in the will, only certain people will be allowed to contest wills. If you’re not sure whether you can contest a will, check out the list below and see which descriptions best fit your personal circumstances. Beneficiaries Beneficiaries are those who are named in the will and can include:…

Developments Affecting Trusts, Estates, and Conservatorships

2015-05-18 SCCEPC Recent Dev. Materials  

What The Kwok! I Killed My Client’s Title Insurance

2015-05-15 Title Insurance

Estate Planning Year in Review

Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), San Francisco, CA (1/23/15)

California Probate Court

Probate is the legal process involved in administering the estates of deceased persons. The process is supervised by the probate court, which protects the interests of persons involved in probate court matters. The probate court appoints a personal representative to administer the estate and report to the court. The personal representative may have to be bonded in order to ensure that the assets of the estate are protected. The probate court that will supervise administration of an estate is the one in the county where the decedent lived at the time of death. Probate courts also handle other types of…

Estate Planning and Gift Tax

A gift tax is a tax that a person must pay to the federal government when he or she gives a gift at a value above the exempt amount. The exempt amount in 2012 was $13,000. There is no California State gift tax. Certain gifts, such as gifts to a charity and gifts to a spouse, are not subject to a gift tax. The recipient of a gift does not have to pay a gift tax. It is important to be aware of this information about gift taxes in planning your estate, because it means that you can make certain gifts…

A Trustee’s Duties In California

A man was cited as an executor of his aunt’s estate. The aunt passed away leaving a distributable estate consisting of $125,000 cash. The man probated the will and was appointed executor.  Then, the man borrowed $90,000 in cash from the estate ad and invested the money in a natural gas operation, which turned out to be lucrative. Within three months of making the investment, the man sold the interest in the mining operation for $180,000 and repaid the estate the $90,000 he borrowed. However, the man retained the balance of the proceeds for his personal use. Performing duties and…

Contesting A Will In California

The contestants of a will have the burden of providing evidence and persuasion to establish lack of testamentary intent or capacity, fraud, duress, undue influence, mistake or revocation. Latent or patent ambiguities are errors the court may remedy, if applicable. A patent ambiguity is when a word is vague on the surface, and a latent ambiguity is when a word can have more than one meaning. A California estate planning attorney assists clients by drafting a will in a manner designed to avoid ambiguities. Arguing ambiguities Under Cal. Prob. Code §21120, the words of an instrument are to be interpreted…

What Pitfalls Can an Estate Planning Attorney Help You Avoid?

The reasons for using a San Jose estate planning attorney are numerous, but the main reason is to avoid problems or legal entanglements of which you are possibly not aware. For example, one estate planning tool may be to create joint ownership of assets, which California statutes refer to as joint tenancy. When a husband and wife establish joint tenancy, the legal term used is tenancy by the entirety. Joint tenants, share equal ownership of the property and hold the property under the same title. When one person dies, the other has rights of survivorship and the remainder of the…

Satisfying Expectations By Drafting A Valid Will In California

A will may be contested in court for a host of reasons, whether due to a testator’s lack of capacity at the time the will was executed, or due to fraud, undue influence or mistake. A California estate planning law firm assists clients in drafting wills and litigating issues related to will contentions. Possessing testamentary capacity at the time of execution Under California Probate Code §6100, an individual must be at least 18 years-old and of sound mind to form a will. Additionally, the Probate Code §§6110-6113 requires a will be signed by the person creating the will, known as…