Meisser, Joseph, & Palley Inc.

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I was recently contacted, as I have been many times throughout the years, by a family member (often a distant family member) who was contacted by a county employee from some county in California. It could be county counsel, county coroner or the public guardian’s office.  The one this past week was from a new client whose relative had died in Alameda county.  The Alameda county coroner’s office contacted them to basically say “hey, your…
“There are no words” was a text I received from a good friend born and raised, and still living, in Los Angeles. He’s a big Laker’s fan and a big Kobe fan.  Kobe was beloved in LA but also throughout the US and even the world. He was truly a world class athlete. RIP Kobe Bryant – LA Lakers – August 23, 1978 – January 26, 2020 I have words but it’s because I deal…
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…