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As a probate attorney for 25 years I have dealt with countless ancillary probates in my personal practice. These typically involve a person who has property in two, or more, US states. However, on occasion we run into international probate situations. That might be a citizen of the world who dies owning property in California or a California resident who dies owning property around the world somewhere. As background California Probate Code section 12501 defines…
I got my court’s calendar notes today for my recently filed Heggstad petition where the decedent had done a Suze Orman trust. Different counties call them different things – calendar notes, tentative ruling, etc… but basically it’s the Court’s preliminary thoughts on the case after reviewing what has been filed. It says: Settlor executed a pour-over will, property is specifically distributed in trust.No general transfer or assignment/property is titled in decedent’s name.For court review. Now…
I got a new case recently where the person who died had a Suze Orman will and trust. Let’s just say, in legal terms, it’s all messed up! Before I go on let me make clear that Suze has a well deserved reputation as a financial guru. She has helped millions of people get their financial houses in order and that’s great.  However, to quote LaVar Ball, “stay in yo’ lane.”  Or as I have…
I am often asked by prospective probate clients if they can serve as co-administrators or co-executors or co-personal representatives. For all practical purposes those three things are the same but the key is the word “CO.”  Co as in two or joint or together. That is usually two siblings want to work together so they can share in the duties. I have some clients who are currently acting as co-administrators in their father’s probate estate…
We lost my mom back in March of 2016 and I still get a lot of mail for her. My favorite is from AAA which says, on the envelope “WE WANT YOU BACK.” We get a chuckle, though a sad one, each time we receive that junk mail.  The mail continues.  Macy’s loves to send their catalogs as to many others. The other most common mail is from charities. My mom liked to shop and…
I recently discussed a case with a potential new client. The facts are similar to other cases I have seen before and I thought it might be helpful for you, my loyal readers to hear of such a case. I have simplified a few of the facts and modified so this is similar but not identical to any real client, but generally here is the situation: I was contacted by Wife; Her husband died recently;…
Today is September 27, 2018.  I had a hearing on a petition captioned as: PETITION FOR TERMINATION OF PROCEEDINGS AND DISCHARGE OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE This was filed under California probate code section 12251. This essentially was a probate that turned out to not be required. It was originally filed a couple years back as the decedent may have been damaged by the pharmaceutical ACTOS and thus his family, or his estate, may have a right…
What a week in America with John McCain and Aretha Franklin’s funerals being must-see TV on seemingly every channel.  Yesterday I was presented with yet another article about Aretha Franklin’s lack of estate planning. Here’s a link. The question is what would her probate and estate look like had she died in California with no will or trust? What would be happening here? Let’s hypothesize…. I have seen estimates for her estate to be…
I can’t get no respect, no respect I say…. Oh wait, I have my celebrities and their lines on respect wrong but we have yet ANOTHER celeb dying without a proper estate plan in place. Here’s a good article on CNBC about Aretha’s lack of planning. With an $80m estimated net worth the costs of probate, if she had lived in California, would be somewhere OVER $100,000! Failing to plan is a great way to…