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Probate and Estate Administration Archives

Understanding estate taxes

Many of the San Fernando Valley residents that come to see us here at The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo all share the same concern: estate taxes. If you are current going through a transition of assets following a loved one’s death, this is definitely a topic worth researching. However, a lot of misinformation exists about who actually owes estate taxes, and how much they actually do owe. This often leads to concerns that can cause a good deal of undue stress.

Family, friends of Huguette Clark continue to battle over estate

The ultimate goal of estate planning is so that residents of San Fernando Valley can help to avoid causing any tension amongst those that they care about after they are gone. The potential for discord can be high when it comes to one’s estate, particularly if he or she had a high net worth. Yet such potential often only exists when one has not had open communication with those closest to him or her regarding his or her final wishes. When no one knows who is getting what, the likelihood of people fighting to “get theirs” can be high.

How do you file estate taxes?

When you are named as the executor of an estate in Woodland Hills, one of the tasks that you are expected to oversee as part of the probate administration process is the filing of estate taxes. Fortunately, filing an estate tax return isn’t all that different from filing your own personal income tax return.

What is probate?

Managing the affairs and estate of a deceased person in California can be a complex task. If you find yourself in this position, you should have a basic understanding of what probate is. The California Courts identify probate as essentially a form of court case. The focus of any probate case is on tying up any loose ends associated with the legal issues and belongings, assets and debts of the person who has died.

How can assets from smaller estates avoid probate?

Most in San Fernando Valley will probably hear that they should try to avoid probate at all costs. While the standard way to avoid probate that most are familiar with is to put assets into a living trust, are you aware that smaller estates may also be able to bypass the probate court?   According to the website for The Judicial Branch of California, you can attempt to gain access to any personal property that you’re entitled to through a written affidavit.

Keys to estate planning for California residents

After an individual passes away, it may be necessary to go through probate to settle that person's estate. However, it may be possible in some cases to bypass the court process, which is known as probate. The purpose of probate is to determine if a will is valid, to take care of any final financial issues and to transfer property to heirs.

Learn the details of Robin Williams' estate plan

Fans of late actor Robin Williams may be interested to learn the fate of his two California homes and other assets. Although Williams was reported to be worth $130 million in 2012, that number may have changed significantly as a result of his two divorce settlements. In an interview, Williams reportedly said that he was close to bankruptcy and had made a return to TV in order to "pay the bills." Williams' publicist, however, has said that those comments were not serious and he was in no financial trouble.

California credit card debt after death

In many instances, credit card debt does not die with an individual, but unless an account was opened jointly, a surviving friend or relative will not have to pay off the debt in most cases. During the estate administration, it is an executor's responsibility to pay debts with the deceased person's assets. If there are not enough assets to cover all the debt, creditors cannot typically hold relatives liable for the outstanding balances. However, since California is a community property state, spouses might fall under one of the exceptions to that general debt liability rule.

Late actor's family fights over his remains

American film actor and entertainer Mickey Rooney, as our readers may know, died on Sunday at the age of 93, leaving behind quite an impressive career but not a whole lot to show for it financially speaking. On Tuesday, it was revealed that the extent of the actor's estate was $18,000. Rooney, though a will signed on March 11, left all of that to his caretaker stepson and his stepson's wife.

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