Meisser, Joseph, & Palley Inc.

The firm was founded by two attorneys, Robert Fort and Morgan Johnson, on the core belief of providing top notch legal services with reasonable legal fees. While the firm has continued to meet those core beliefs, our lawyers have also added efficiency and client service to our core.

We will provide you top notch legal services with extremely reasonable legal fees, and at the same time provide you with the top shelf client service that our clients have learned to expect; the “white glove” treatment if you will. Additionally, you can expect to receive efficient replies to emails and calls, meetings set on short notice and legal work done when we say it will be done.

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UPDATE AS OF JANUARY 1, 2020 – NEW LAW FOR THE NEW YEAR. THE LIMIT IS NOW $166,250 OR LESS Instead of the old law of $150,000 for small estate procedures. This will enable a few more estates to sneak into small estate territory but really it’s a minor change as it’s been set at $150,000 for about 15 years or more! The same number, $166,250, also applies for the probate code section 13100 small…
I find myself a little frustrated by a potential new client that has decided not to hire me… at least not at this time. Not everybody hires the best probate attorney and that’s fine. They don’t know what they don’t know. However, YOU know because you are reading this blog. So I got their voice mail at about 5:15 PM Friday afternoon and I called back within 2 minutes. That’s how I roll!  Do most…
I love celebrity probate and estate stories. The latest is a double celeb story! Paulina Porizkova was excluded in Ric Ocasek’s will according to the story I read. Paulina was, of course, a famous model and actress.  Her husband, or according to the story estranged husband, Ric Ocasek was the lead singer of the Car’s. The Car’s had some HITS back in the late 70’s and early/mid 1980’s!  Some of the hits included: Let’s Go!…
A client contacted me last week and said she needs “an actual deed in her name” so that her “document specialist” could transfer the house to her trust.  I re-sent her a copy of the court order that I recorded after her husband died. I explained that we did a spousal property petition, to transfer the property from her husband to her, and thus there is no an actual “deed” but instead the Judge’s signature…
I have reported on this before but a good reminder there are tens of thousands of people who have money being held by the state of California. Go check your name and see if any is there in your name. Here is the link to that California lost property page or is the found money page!? California’s Unclaimed Property Law requires banks, insurance companies, corporations, and other entities to report and submit unclaimed property to…
After doing approximately 1,500 California probate estates, or “full probates,” I have a pretty good idea what the costs will be… but it’s still an approximation. Today I want to discuss the current costs and what you can expect.  Our probate cost calculator is a good start but remember it’s an approximation. So first thing is first and you know this… the man has got to get paid and the man is Uncle Sam or,…
Lately I seem to have a run of small probate matters and I can say that small probates come in different sizes.  Though the rules are fairly simple I thought you might like to hear some fact patterns so you could see probate code section 13150 and 13200 inaction in real life! Messed up Title in Auburn: This one is a huge mess! The family wants to sell the property but there was something like…
I know for several years there has been a National Estate Planning Awareness Week every year in October. Now, I am not sure how many people have been aware of this and very likely the only people aware of this already have an estate plan in place. However, anything we can do to get the word out the better. It took me a second but I did find the 2019 week is scheduled for October…
I saw this headline today and here’s a link to the article in Aretha’s hometown paper. The reality is it’s not shocking to have three wills and even three handwritten wills. This happens as people change their mind from time to time and/or in some cases handwritten documents might be wills. For a lawyer helping his client carry out their fiduciary duty it’s best to file all potential “wills” with the court and then let…
Ok, I admit it I just wanted to put “Game of Thrones” in my blog to see a spike in readership. I am sorry. It’s like the old days when we talked about Star Wars. Here’s the strange thing though, and this has absolutely nothing to do with California probate law, I have never watched GOT. I do not even know what it’s about. Strange I know. I wake up Monday morning, go to the…