Estate Planning

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Prior Trustee May Not be Able to Prevent Successor Trustee’s Access to Attorney-Client Communications

The California Court of Appeals recently held that a former trustee cannot prevent access to communications between the trustee and his attorney to a successor trustee. Morgan v. Superior Court finds that the attorney-client privilege vests with the "office of the trustee" and not with the person himself. Here, the Settlor died in 2014. Settlor (Beverly) had [...]

By | 2018-06-05T15:18:07+00:00 June 5th, 2018|Estate Planning|Comments Off on Prior Trustee May Not be Able to Prevent Successor Trustee’s Access to Attorney-Client Communications

What is an Ancillary Probate?

If a person dies without a revocable living trust and has an estate valued at over $150,000, generally a probate must be opened in the county where the person died. Generally, personal property can be handled in the probate where the person died; however, if a person who dies left real estate in another county, [...]

By | 2018-04-26T11:46:42+00:00 April 26th, 2018|Estate Planning|Comments Off on What is an Ancillary Probate?

Selling Real Estate in a Probate – When Court Confirmation is Required

Court confirmation for the sale of real estate in a probate is required when the executor or administrator does not have authority under the Independent Administration of Estates Act ("IAEA"). Although the process takes longer than selling real estate without court confirmation, selling real estate with court confirmation can be done. Once the probate referee [...]

By | 2018-02-28T15:30:41+00:00 February 28th, 2018|Estate Planning|Comments Off on Selling Real Estate in a Probate – When Court Confirmation is Required

Selling Real Estate in a Probate (Part 1)

Generally, when there is a probate opened for a deceased person, there will be real estate to be transferred. If the Executor or Administrator must sell real estate, California law has specific guidelines as to what is required to sell real estate that is subject to a probate. The first step in any probate process [...]

By | 2018-02-26T15:22:12+00:00 February 26th, 2018|Estate Planning|Comments Off on Selling Real Estate in a Probate (Part 1)

Selecting a Trustee for Your Revocable Living Trust

Clients often struggle with selecting a successor trustee for a revocable living trust and an executor of their will. There are several choices that a client can make in selecting a trustee. The following is not an exhaustive list but provides some ideas for selecting a trustee. Family Members Most of my clients select one [...]

By | 2018-02-06T14:22:50+00:00 February 6th, 2018|Estate Planning|Comments Off on Selecting a Trustee for Your Revocable Living Trust

Interspousal Deed May Change Rights of Spouses in a Probate

Recently, the California Appellate Court reviewed how an interspousal deed can change the rights of spouses during a probate. In re Estate of Jackson involved an interspousal deed changing legal title of the property from husband and wife to husband solely. In this case, Husband and Wife were married for thirty six years when Husband [...]

By | 2018-02-02T08:37:43+00:00 February 2nd, 2018|Estate Planning|Comments Off on Interspousal Deed May Change Rights of Spouses in a Probate

How a Revocable Living Trust Avoids Probate

One of the many reasons touted to have a revocable living trust is to avoid probate. Probate is a court process that transfers property of a deceased person to heirs. Probate can be costly and lengthy even if nothing is contested. In Los Angeles County, it is somewhat common for probate matters to take longer [...]

By | 2018-02-01T09:03:42+00:00 February 1st, 2018|Estate Planning|Comments Off on How a Revocable Living Trust Avoids Probate

Does Probate Handle all Assets Owned by Decedent?

Probate is the legal process to pass property of a deceased person to heirs and/or beneficiaries under a will or by intestacy. Although it can include a variety of property owned by a deceased person, probate does not address all property. Some of the property not include in a probate estate includes: Real property  owned [...]

By | 2018-01-18T11:41:35+00:00 January 18th, 2018|Estate Planning|Comments Off on Does Probate Handle all Assets Owned by Decedent?

Is Probate Necessary?

Sometimes I get asked whether a probate is necessary. It really depends on the facts and what the deceased person (known as the "Decedent") left. A probate will be necessary if a person left assets titled in the Decedent's name only that is valued at more than $150,000. Probate is not necessary if a person [...]

By | 2018-01-09T15:21:06+00:00 January 9th, 2018|Estate Planning|Comments Off on Is Probate Necessary?

What is a Pourover Will?

I often get asked why do I need to do a will if I already have a revocable living trust. A pour-over will is used when there is a revocable living trust in order to ensure that property gets transferred to the revocable living trust. If property is not owned by the revocable living trust, [...]

By | 2017-12-02T02:58:42+00:00 November 21st, 2017|Estate Planning|Comments Off on What is a Pourover Will?