Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law
Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo  Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo
Free Initial Consultation

Phone: 818-676-9572

Probate and Estate Administration Archives

Non-profits wait for decision on local philanthropist’s estate

It is not uncommon for Woodland Hills residents to die in debt. When one who has outstanding liabilities passes away, those obligations remain with his or her estate. Whomever is appointed to administer the estate must settle those debts out of its assets before funds can be dispersed to beneficiaries. One form of debt that many may not view as such are promised donations. While it may seem counterintuitive that a financial gift could be viewed as a debt, when one pledges a donation, he or she is essentially promising to pay money to an organization. That agreement is viewed as a contract.

Examining will revocation methods

Estate planning experts in Woodland Hills recommend that people begin planning for the transition of their assets early on in life. Those who do so may rest easy knowing such matters are covered. Yet given that they may live for years or even decades after having created their wills, these people may also want to know the methods through which they can revoke them if they so choose.

A general overview of the probate process

Many in the San Fernando Valley may talk about the probate process as if it were some form of punishment that should be avoided at all costs. While there are certain advantages to not having an estate go to probate, the truth is that thousands of cases appear in probate court every year. Statistics shared by the Judicial Council of California show that in the 2013-14 fiscal year, 44,298 of such cases were heard in state courts. Understanding the probate process may have a significant impact on one’s estate planning.

Dispute arises over estate decisions made by late woman’s sisters

Few in Woodland Hills may want to have to consider the potential for their deaths at a young age. They may maintain the belief that there will be plenty of time to address such issues when they are older. However, such a line of thinking may prove to be flawed given that no one has any control over the circumstances of his or her death. Should someone without having properly addressed the affairs of his or her estate die, his or her family members or friends may petition the court to be granted special authority over certain aspects of it. That authority, however, is typically limited, both in its scope and its duration.

Daughter alleges late father’s friend led him to change his will

Not only is estate planning a process that Woodland Hills residents should begin early on in their adult lives, but also one in which they may want to involve their families and other interested parties in. The reason for this is that as one’s circumstances change throughout his or her life, he or she may feel compelled to update his or her estate planning documents to reflect the current situation. If all those who are party to the estate are not involved in this process, they may cry foul once the testator is gone and his or her current will is brought to light.

What are the duties of a probate referee?

The assets and property that comprise your loved one’s estate could have varying levels of worth to you and other interested parties. Thus, obtaining a reliable valuation of an estate in Woodland Hills may be difficult if that task were to be left to you and other beneficiaries. In most cases, however, it is not. The court may often assign a designated probate referee to come up with an unbiased figure.

What are powers of appointment?

Once you begin to get deeply involved in the estate planning process in Woodland Hills, you may begin to hear the term “power of appointment” frequently used. What does this mean? Essentially, the power of appointment is the granting of authority to another to dispense or dispose of property. In the case of a will, for example, you as the testator may choose to grant the power of appointment to a family member, friend or colleague. That person then assumes the role of donee. A donee differs from a trustee in that he or she is not charged with managing property or investing assets, but rather simply dispensing them.

Tax dispute over Tom Clancy’s estate settled by court

For those in Woodland Hills who have considerable assets to pass on to beneficiaries, one concern that they may want to address is estate taxes. In many cases, tax considerations are often overlooked in estate planning because one’s estate must reach several millions of dollars in value in order to meet the federal estate tax requirements. If one’s estate does warrant taxes being levied, then the issue of how they are paid could potentially cause tension amongst beneficiaries.

How much does probate cost?

If you have begun to look into estate planning in Woodland Hills, then you have likely heard the recommendation that you do what you can to avoid having your estate go into probate. The primary reason why so many may tell you to avoid probate is the financial cost that it can exact on your estate. This may inevitably prompt you to question exactly how much the probate process can cost.

Exotic car collection being returned to Paul Walker’s estate

Many in Woodland Hills may assume that the estate administration process is a brief, fleeting matter that those to whom it may concern will only have to deal with for a short time. While that may be the case in certain situations, other cases may continue on for years as disputes and other matters are dealt with. The size of an estate may certainly play a factor in how long it takes to be properly executed and closed. Larger estates with a high volume of assets may take longer to disperse. Questions involving liability in the death of the testator of such an estate may serve to further delay its administration.