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Recent Blog Posts

How the California Probate Process Works

 Posted on February 18, 2024 in Estate Planning

Blog ImageMany steps require completion before an estate executor can pass down any assets to the beneficiaries named in a deceased person’s will. Each step must be completed exactly as the court specifies, which includes the filing of many forms, and an executor must follow each step of the California probate process in order. Because executors are often family members who do not have a specialized understanding of the law, following the probate process can be complicated and confusing. For help concerning every aspect of the probate process,consult an estate planning attorney for questions or advice.

The Petition

A petition for probate must be filed in the California county in which the deceased person lived when they died. The court will then give notice of a necessary hearing that will take place in approximately 30 to 40 days. The petitioner will also need to file a copy of the deceased individual’s will (if they had one) and a copy of the death certificate (in some circumstances), and pay the filing fee.

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Wills vs Trusts: Which is Better?

 Posted on January 12, 2024 in Estate Planning

Blog ImageThe short answer to which is better, a will or trust, is that it depends entirely on what it is you need it for. A better way to answer this question would be to dive into what a will and a trust are and what makes them different from one another. You should also keep in mind that you can have both. Whatever your estate planning needs are, an attorney can go over the document with you or help draft it to ensure your wishes are enforceable.

A Last Will and Testament

A will takes effect only once you pass away. A will is a document that allows you to declare who will receive your possessions once that occurs. In California, a will must be signed in front of two witnesses, both of whom must verify that during the signing, you were of sound mind and body. In other words, they must certify that you did not sign the will through coercion or under duress.

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Legal Representation Through a Will Contention Case

 Posted on December 12, 2023 in Estate Planning

Los Angeles Will Contention Attorney

Will contention cases, also known as will disputes or will contests, are difficult situations that can arise when disagreements arise regarding the validity or interpretation of a will. In these situations, seeking the assistance of a lawyer in California can be an important step in ensuring you have a skilled legal professional to assist you in navigating the complexities of the situation.

Fluent in Estate Law

One of the primary reasons to hire a lawyer in a will contention case is their knowledge of estate planning law. A lawyer trained in estate law will be able to assess the will's validity and identify any areas where the will may be susceptible to being contested. They can guide you through the process, ensuring your rights and interests are protected while the will is being challenged.

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Important Characteristics of a Valid Will

 Posted on November 13, 2023 in Estate Planning

California Estate Planning LawyerA will is a crucial legal document, often the cornerstone of many estate plans. The purpose of a will is to ensure that your assets are allocated according to your wishes once you pass away. To ensure the validity of a will, it must possess three essential characteristics: intent, proper execution, and clear language. The best way to make sure that a will is legally valid is to hire an estate planning lawyer in California to guide you through the will-making process. With a legal professional guiding your decisions, you can feel confident knowing that your will is legally valid and protects your best interests.

What You Need to Know About Intent

The testator’s intent is a valid will’s first and foremost characteristic. The testator must intend to distribute their assets upon their death. This means that the testator must have the mental capacity to understand the nature and significance of the document they are creating. They must also clearly understand the property they are distributing and the beneficiaries they are naming. 

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Understanding Undue Influence in Estate Planning

 Posted on October 12, 2023 in Estate Planning

California Estate Planning LawyerMany of us are aware of the benefits of estate planning, understanding it to be an excellent way to ensure your assets are appropriately distributed after you pass away. However, in some cases, the deceased’s intentions may be compromised due to undue influence. Undue influence refers to exerting pressure or manipulation on a person, leading them to make decisions that they would not have made on their own. If you have concerns that undue influence may be a factor as you or a loved one make an estate plan, contact a skilled lawyer in California to ensure that this fear does not come to fruition. 

Further Defining Undue Influence 

Undue influence happens when a person takes advantage of their position of power or authority to manipulate someone’s decision-making process. In the context of estate planning, it refers to situations where a person, often a close family member or caregiver, uses their influence to persuade the person creating the will, also known as the testator, into making decisions that favor their interests or go against the testator’s wishes. 

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Important Things to Know About a Financial Power of Attorney

 Posted on September 21, 2023 in Powers of Attorney

Untitled---2023-09-21T113857.002.jpgA financial power of attorney is a legal document enabling another person to manage financial matters on your behalf. This document is an essential part of a comprehensive estate plan and can provide peace of mind in the event of incapacity or the need for assistance with financial affairs. Contact a lawyer if you are seeking essential legal assistance in any matters related to estate planning, including those involving financial power of attorney.

Further Defining the Purpose and Scope of Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney is a legal arrangement that designates an individual, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, to act on your behalf in financial matters. In Los Angeles, a financial power of attorney can pay bills, manage investments, buy or sell assets, file taxes, and make financial decisions. The scope of authority granted to the agent can be broad or limited, depending on your preferences and needs. 

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I am a Divorced Father with Three Teenage Children. Should I Create a Will or a Trust?

 Posted on August 08, 2023 in Estate Planning

Untitled-95.jpgCreating a comprehensive estate plan for divorced fathers with teenage children is crucial to secure their financial well-being. Individuals in this situation need to understand and explore the benefits and considerations of two common estate planning options: wills and trusts. Today, by examining your unique circumstances, we will explore your options to ensure you can make informed decisions that suit your family’s needs. Enlisting the services of a trained estate planning lawyer can help lessen the burden of figuring out on your own which decision you ought to make. By hiring a lawyer, you can feel confident that your estate planning goals can be achieved. 

Understanding the Purpose of Wills

A last will and testament is a legal record that details someone’s wishes regarding how they want their assets allocated once they die. It is an important document that allows an individual to name guardians for their minor children, designate beneficiaries, and specify how their assets should be distributed. In the case of a divorced father with three teenage children, a will may be a suitable option, especially if your estate is relatively simple and you prioritize simplicity and flexibility in your distribution plans. 

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Understanding the Importance of Medical Powers of Attorney

 Posted on July 12, 2023 in Powers of Attorney

Untitled-18.jpgIn the realm of healthcare decisions, nothing offers more peace of mind than having medical powers of attorney (MPOA). This essential legal document grants another individual, known as the agent, the authority to make medical choices on your behalf when you cannot do so yourself. Today, we will provide comprehensive examples and insights into the critical role a medical power of attorney plays in protecting your rights and interests. An estate planning lawyer is an essential resource for anyone looking to ensure that their estate plan includes provisions for what will happen if they are unable to make their own healthcare decisions at a time of incapacity. 

Ensuring Consent in Medical Emergencies

Medical emergencies often arise unexpectedly, leaving little time for individuals to convey their wishes regarding treatment options. In such critical situations, an MPOA acts as a reliable spokesperson. For instance, if you are unresponsive after a car accident and require immediate medical attention, your appointed agent can make vital decisions about your care. With an MPOA, you can trust that your preferences regarding medical treatment and interventions will be respected.

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Is Probate as Bad a Process as People Say?

 Posted on June 08, 2023 in Probate / Estate Administration

Los Angeles, CA Probate LawyerProbate is the legal process through which the assets of a deceased person are distributed to their heirs. It often gets a bad rap in society, with many referring to it as a long and expensive process. While probate can be time-consuming and costly in some cases, it is not always as bad as it is portrayed. Today, we will explore some of the common fallacies about probate and help you understand whether it is all that bad. In any case, an estate planning attorney can be an excellent resource as you work through the process to ensure everything is completed correctly.

Here is What You Need to Know About Probate

Something many people get wrong about probate is that it always takes an excessive amount of time. In reality, the amount of time it takes to get through probate can vary significantly depending on the individual circumstances. For instance, suppose the estate is simple, with few assets or beneficiaries. In that case, the probate process may prove to be a quicker one. 

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What to Do if Your Loved One Will Not Make a Will

 Posted on May 04, 2023 in Estate Planning

los-angeles-california-estate-planning-attorney.jpgAs our loved ones age, the topic of estate planning and creating a will become more pressing. Unfortunately, some elderly individuals may refuse to make a will, despite the benefits and necessity of doing so. This can leave family members feeling frustrated and unsure of how to proceed. Today, we are going to discuss what you should do if your elderly loved one is refusing to create a will. Remember, an estate planning attorney can be greatly beneficial during this time, as they can assist in creating a will and provide professional guidance on how to broach the subject of creating a will with your loved one. 

Considerations if Your Loved One Is Apprehensive Toward the Idea of Making a Will

First, it is essential to understand why some elderly individuals may be resistant to creating a will. Some may believe they do not have enough assets to warrant a will, while others may be uncomfortable discussing their mortality. Additionally, some may be concerned about the cost of creating a will or may not be aware of not having one. One approach to encouraging an elderly loved one to create a will is to have an open and honest conversation about the benefits of doing so. This can include discussing how a will can provide peace of mind for both the individual and their family members and how it can ensure that their wishes are carried out after their passing. It may also be helpful to address any concerns or misconceptions that the individual may have about creating a will.

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