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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I don’t know if my mom or dad had a will – what do I do?  I have been asked some version of this question countless times over the years. A recent one was something like, “my brother is living in dad’s house, he says dad gave him everything, I don’t know if there is a will, what do I do?”  This can be a simple thing. First step is always determining if there are…
I have had a few cases recently where a person, who has now died, had been the beneficiary of a trust.  However, in all the cases the person who has now died never got their beneficial share from the trust before they died. So what happens?  When does a trust beneficiary require a probate in California? The basic threshold currently is $166,250 to avoid a full probate. So let’s say Mommy Mae dies with a…
If you are reading this page you probably had the question: “How quickly will I receive my California probate court ORDER?” There are many different probate court orders so we will talk about the two most common. Also, every county in California does things differently and in some cases majorly different. As I have a statewide probate practice I keep track of all the counties and all the probate courts so I can expedite things…
You are looking at starting probate without meeting your attorney in person. Can this really be done?  YES!  We do this all the time.  Some simple reasons why this is so: I have clients that live all around the country, and even the world, who lost a loved one in California. Most of my clients want to start probate right away as probate takes a long time so the sooner you start the sooner you’ll…
What can you do when your California probate court date is way out?  By WAY OUT I mean way out in the future.  Let me backtrack a little first…. In the old days, when I was a young attorney, court dates were often given 4 weeks out from the date you filed your petition. Back in the mid-nineties I would file a probate petition and my court date would be about 4, maybe 5, weeks…
I recently had a potential new client who discovered his father had properties in Sacramento county… or so he thought.  Though dad had died some years ago this seemed to be pennies from heaven for this nice young man.  The client was very nice and due to his father’s unique name these certainly seemed to be his properties. Let me be clear that as an attorney I have an obligation to the court to not…
A lot of us were thinking it was heading in the right direction, right?  We had flattened the curve, right?  The death rate was going down, right?  Unfortunately it seems that once we opened stuff up the numbers started going back up!  As a California probate attorney my focus, especially here in my blog, is on the California probate process.  How does the Covid crisis apply in a California probate? I have one Covid probate…
If you found this blog post you probably have a question about restitution payments in a probate. I am a California attorney so my blog can only give information about California probate law. If you are in any other state you might take my information and share with an attorney in that state to see what they think. I have dealt with restitution payments in California probates many times. There are two main ways: the…
A few years back the state of California changed the notary form that must be used by California notaries when notarizing a document. This is what is called the acknowledgement.  There are exceptions where a notary can use an out of state notary form but I will not get into those rules here.  The below form is to be used without modification.  The first paragraph is in a box usually. Here it is:   A…
Special Administration on a rush basis can happen in a California probate court. However, the facts have to be right to be granted the special letters on a rush basis. Today I will discuss the way this works and how you could obtain Letters of Special Administration in as short as 48 hours in some cases. First of all going to probate court on a rush basis is called filing a petition on an “ex…