Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law
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Probate and Estate Administration Archives

Admitting a second will to probate

Many come to see us here at The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo seeking assistance with probate cases in Los Angeles County because, even though such proceedings can be complicated and drawn-out, they are often necessary in order to effectively distribute a decedent's assets as he or she intended. If you have recently completed the probate process, you are likely glad that it is over. Imagine what you might face if you had to go through it a second time? 

Explaining estate jurisdiction

Whenever someone living in or with ties to Woodland Hills passes away, those close to him or her typically begin to prepare for the process of administering his or her estate. Aside from ensuring that that a personal representative has been named to handle the matter, one of the first things to be considered is which probate court would have jurisdiction over the case.

Murder victim’s estate seeking return of his property

Many in Woodland Hills might assume that the matter of estate administration involves simply sitting down at a table, reviewing a decedent’s assets, and then divvying them out to beneficiaries. In reality, the process is much more involved. In fact, one assigned as the executor of an estate (along with any interested parties to it) might even have to go on a search for property that might rightfully belong to the estate, yet are in the possession of another. In some cases, those parties may even have to go as far as initiating legal action in order to recover such assets.

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.