Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&AResponsive Law
- Elder Law
- Estate Planning
- Free Consultation
- Credit Cards Accepted
- State Bar of California # 272518
Websites & Blogs
- Law Office of Carol A. Fauerbach
7 Questions Answered
- Q. I live in California. I am disabled. If Both parents pass without a will., Will I inherit their homes automatically?
- A: Not necessarily. If there is real estate involved and the homes have not been placed in a trust, are not jointly owned by you, and you are not a transfer on death beneficiary, then you will have to go though the Probate Court which will decide how the property is distributed. If you are the sole intestate heir (typically when there are no other spouses involved and you are the only child), then you may likely inherit, but not without waiting for court authorization and possible significant cost. Your parents should contact an estate planning attorney to see what options might be available to them to avoid probate.
- Q. Wife is executor and sole beneficiary of her mother. Probate almost completed, deeds being transfered. Only thing NOT
- A: If there is an attorney handling the probate of your wife's mother's estate, they should be able to petition the court to appoint a new executor. If there is no attorney, you should seek the assistance of an attorney to help you in requesting the appointment of a new executor who can finish the transfer of assets and close out the probate. You would be potentially eligible to be the executor. Delaying this until your wife passes will only complicate matters. Hopefully you and your wife have an estate plan in place so as to avoid probate should either of you pass away. If not, and if your wife is alert enough to execute an estate plan, you and your wife should consult an attorney to have this done as soon as possible to avoid probate, simplify the transfer of property, and reduce costs and time of estate administration.
- Q. My father died 7 years ago. How do I find out if the Estate was probated or not?
- A: If the estate was probated, you should contact the probate court where your father lived when he passed away to see if a probate was opened and, if so, if and how property was distributed. Depending upon the county, some of this information may be online. Otherwise, you will need to go to the court to examine the file. If the estate was administered through a trust, there is likely no record of the administration by the court, and you would need to contact the trustee or their attorney. You can also contact the attorney who sent you the letter for further information and a copy of the will, trust, accountings, and probate file. However, before you sign anything, you should review your case with your own attorney to make sure that your rights are adequately protected.
- Q. My late husband had a parcel of land in El Dorado County that we never bothered to put my name on. Must I probate it?
- A: The answer depends upon how the title is currently held, if the property was owned by a trust or was his separate property, if he had a will, and various other factors. The short answer is likely yes, but there may be a way to handle it less expensively and quicker that does not require a full probate. You should consult with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case.
- Q. How to become my moms legal Gaurdian at her request am already her dopa
- A: A "legal guardian" for an adult is referred to as a conservator. If your mom has already designed you as her agent through a durable power of attorney and advanced healthcare directive, and these documents are sufficient to allow you to handle her finances and make medical decisions on her behalf, then you may not require a conservatorship. However, if you find that these documents are not sufficient, your mom may lack capacity to amend those documents and a conservatorship may be needed. If your mom is agreeable and tells the court that she wishes to have you as her conservator, and if there are no other reasons that the court or other family members would object to the conservatorship, this should be a fairly straight forward process. It will, however, involve court involvement. You should seek the advise of an attorney that handles conservatorships to get more facts regarding your specific matter and to advise as to how to proceed.
- Q. Executor sold house and entire furnishings. Right now there is only a bank account. Nothing has been presented to heirs
- A: In California, if an estate has a value of over $150,000, probate is required. Given that there is a house, furnishings and bank account, the value is very likely over this amount and the executor is required by law to probate the estate. Part of the probate process includes and inventory and appraisal of the estate as well as an accounting of the income, expenses, and distributions regarding the estate. You should consult with a probate attorney as soon as possible to review the details of your situation and advise as to how best to proceed to protect your interests.
- Q. When is a trust preferable over a will?
- A: Both a will and a trust have their purpose, and an estate plan often contains both. Administration of an estate through a trust is typically cheaper and quicker for the beneficiaries to receive their distribution. Trust administration typically does not involve the court and therefore is more private. Probating of an estate based upon the terms of a will, or even without a will, typically involves court oversight and the costs for administration are set by law. In addition, a trust specifies how assets should be managed during your lifetime as well as after you die. A will only gives instructions for your estate after you die. Often an estate plan has both a trust and a will. A trust estate contains most of the property and the terms the terms of the trust provide instructions about how the estate is to be administered or distributed. However, if the individual forgets to put some property in a trust, then a "pour over" will can instruct that all remaining property gets distributed to the trust and gets administered accordingly. This is an extremely simplified explanation of how the two documents work individually and together, and you should speak with an estate planning attorney to discuss your particular situation and advise as to the best approach for you and your beneficiaries.
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