Category Archives: Trust and Estate Law

3 Questions To Immediately Answer If You Have To Take Your Case to Probate

When building cases, there are many things to take into consideration. There are many factors which could make the case either very simple or extremely complicated. 

The Probate Attorney 

As Palm Springs probate attorneys, we work on cases where a person is deceased and there are then others involved that we must discuss the distributions of assets with. As such, we must get to the bottom of each case and figure out the best solution.

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How to Proceed with Creditor Claims in Probate Law

Creditor claims in California are a detailed and intricate part of probate law. If you fail to comply exactly as the rules state, you will lose any claim against the estate. 

What is a Creditor Claim? 

A creditor claim is any type of demand for a payment. It means if anyone owes you money and then that individual dies, you have to file a creditor claim. Creditor claims are for liabilities and debts incurred by the individual that died. It’s required to be filed in a probate court. It must also be served by a specific time to the representative of the decedent’s estate.

What is the Claims Procedure? 

The creditors claim procedure can be invoked by filing notices in the newspaper. A notice can also be mailed to the creditor. There are different time stipulations for each regarding how long creditors have to file a claim. If any of these claims are not filed correctly with the trustee, the creditor may lose rights to the claim. 

How is the Claim Approved? 

After a claim is filed, the trustee has 30 days to deny or approve this particular claim. If the claim is denied, it’s necessary to act quickly if the creditor wants to file a lawsuit. Because of how complicated filing claims and understanding all aspects of the law can be, it’s crucial to have a lawyer. Our Coachella Valley probate attorney can help when it’s time to file a creditor claim.

Things To Know About A Durable Financial Power Of Attorney

A Financial Power of Attorney is a person who is able to make financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your own behalf. The power is given by producing a legalized document that shows you allow another person to make financial decisions on your behalf. The person you chose to act on your behalf is considered your agent or attorney-in-fact. 

Can I Set Limitations? 

You can set limits for your agent. The thing to consider is what needs to be handled while you’re unable to act on your own. These things can include your personal expenses – monthly and annually, real estate, investments, asset management, benefit collections, insurance, and hiring legal representation. 

If you have a separate medical agent for medical decisions, keep in mind that the financial agent needs to be updated by the medical agent to make decisions smoother.

How Is The Agent Created? 

It is recommended to use the simple form for the state you’re in, or you could schedule a consultation with our Palm Springs trust and estate law firm. We can assist in the entire process, including having the document notarized with appropriate signatures. If real estate is involved, the state may require the agent to place a record on file with the local land and records office. It is also advised to let your bank know who your financial agent is. 

When Does It Start? 

The first thing is to decide is whether or not the power will be durable. If the power of attorney is not durable, and you become incapacitated, then when you can recover, this power is lost and a new agent document would need to be issued.

The document goes into effect as soon as it is signed. If you only want it to go into effect when you are incapacitated then you need a “springing” agent. In this case, you must be certified as incapacitated by a doctor. You can make this type of power of attorney durable also. 

Financial decisions can only be made for you if you are incapacitated. If you want someone to make decisions for you after death, you will need to name them as executor in your will. There are several other ways the financial power of attorney can end, such as divorce, not being able to reach the agent, the court invalidates the document, or you can revoke it personally. It is best to also name alternate agents in the event something happens to an agent.

Handling Problems in Probate

Probate is the legal method by that the fiduciary (executor) of the estate ultimately settles all affairs of a deceased dearest. It is typically more sophisticated for the executor of an estate, who has a fiduciary obligation and who has been entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing an estate’s assets while facilitating the methodical process of probating the estate.

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Why DIY is Hazardous to Your Estate Plan

Estate planning attorneys may work with financial experts to help customers create legally-binding trusts related to the disbursement of money and assets.

Great legal representatives can often provide advice for a better distribution of an estate’s assets. Going forward, legal documents can be drafted and utilized to discharge debts (like mortgages and loans) upon the death of an individual. This aids in avoiding the creation of any undue burden upon family members.

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3 Reasons You Need a Probate Attorney

The probate court process is how an estate handles the settlement of the distribution of property. The process can be hard to handle on your own. When you don’t have a probate attorney or expert, it can be completely impossible. The entire estate can get tied up in the courts. If you’re asking the question of when to get a probate attorney, the answer is as soon as your loved one passes. If you can, it’s best to have it all arranged prior to your loved one’s passing.

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What to Do If Unknowingly Removed as a Beneficiary

Learn What to Do If You Were Unknowingly Removed as a Beneficiary on Your Husband’s Will

When someone serves in the military, they are entitled to a life insurance policy. Within the policy, the member must designate a person to be the beneficiary of the policy when they die.  The beneficiary can be changed at any time if the military member decides that he or she wants to change it. 

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Estate Case Update From The NJ State Bar Association

Case update from the NJ State Bar Association: 

In the Matter of the Estate of Mary Jane Lynch, N.J. Super. App. Div. (Suter, J.A.D.) (19 pp.)

Decedent executed a will and declaration of trust wherein her personal property was to be equally distributed to her two children, appellant-daughter and appellee-son. The residuary estate was left to the family trust and the assets there were divided equally between the siblings. Continue reading

How Long Does Probate Take?

What is Probate?

The term ‘probate’ means ‘proof.’ The term probate in the legal system is proof that the will is ironclad in a court of law. A separate court, called probate court, examines the will to determine how ironclad it is. Strong wills divide assets based on what the deceased wanted. Wills with loopholes, no wills, or wills that excludes assets will follow the rules based on state probate laws. Continue reading

Estate Planning for Blended Families and Common Mistakes

Meeting the person you’d like to spend the rest of your life with in a second marriage is a joyous occasion. Often, one or each person has children from a previous marriage or relationship. In a blended family, the responsibility to take care of the children falls on both parents and the new spouse in many cases. When you have an estate to settle between the both of you and your blended children, California families need to plan for the future. Continue reading

Do you need mediation for estate planning?

Estate planning involves a transfer of wealth in families between generations. This is often a contentious and complicated process because no one relishes speaking of their own death, and how to disseminate their personal property among loved ones. This leads parents to make these decisions without involving their children or heirs so as not to burden them with such a morose topic, but this causes confusion, disputes and litigation against other family members and even personal attorneys. Continue reading

What is Probate Law?

Probate is a legal process following the death of an individual. You will encounter this if the owner of the property you are listed as beneficiary dies.

Steps followed during the process include:

  • Proving the will of the deceased person is valid in court.
  • Identification and appraisal of the deceased’s property.
  • Payment of taxes or debts owed. Continue reading

2 Tips to Discuss Estate Planning with Your Parents

Some people are not comfortable discussing death and illness with their aging parents. In truth, all of us will get older and have to rely on others for various forms of support. While the aging process can be difficult you can lessen the strain by planning ahead of time. It is important to sit down with your parents and discuss their future with them. Continue reading